The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: July 2014

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Sean Patton at the High Plaines Comedy Festival.
  • Sean Patton at the High Plaines Comedy Festival.

July's comedy joke theme is "Doublin' Up." Bare Knuckle Comedy is hosting a soiree of comedy shows featuring the triumphant return of a few of St. Louis' finest -- two of whom you might have caught a glimpse of at the sold-out Kyle Kinane and Marc Maron shows at the Firebird. The minds behind the Improv Shop and the Too Hip Series at Foam are also drawing from the same vein and offering storytelling events -- perhaps they'll fall in comedy love and all of the jokes will live happily ever after. Plus this will be the second time I reiterate how unusual it is to have enough comedy shows to deliberate what qualifies as best and what doesn't post-spring. My fingers are crossed for the trend to continue because laughter is nice, sports are stressful and the two could learn a thing or three from one another.

Saturday, July 12 in the Elvis Room Nick Vatterott featuring Bene Garcia and Jeremy Hellwig 8 p.m. | $10

Nick Vatterott passes through St. Louis about once a year because, after all, it's where he's from. Nick was one of the writers on Comedy Central's Mash-Up, which, much like Nick's live show, is a mix of both standup and sketch comedy. He's toured with Second City, so it's not farfetched to describe him as a barrel of energy, which you will find, if you continue reading, is the standard for comics passing through this month.

Featuring with Nick is Bene Garcia -- a comic I know relatively nothing about, about other than the fact that if he's on the bill he'll do just fine. Nick has the tendency to surround himself with very talented individuals. Local comedian and co-host of the Comedy Vs. Everything podcast, Jeremy Hellwig will also be telling tales of night clowns (hopefully) and everything else.

Continue on for more comedy picks this month.

Aaron Brooks' Comedy Mastery from Voltaic Video on Vimeo.

Monday, July 14 in the Elvis Room Aaron Brooks, Kevin O'Brien & Kevin White 8 p.m. Doors | 8:30 p.m. Show | $5

Last week, Aaron Brooks opened for Marc Maron to an over-packed house at the Firebird. If you caught a glimpse and enjoyed what he did with twenty minutes, you should see what he can do with a headlining set. He cut his teeth right here in St. Louis and consistently puts on great shows when he returns. And he's joined by someone who just can't see to stay away: Cofounder of Bare Knuckle Comedy Kevin White will be back and opening the show along with Kevin O'Brien -- one of the regulars who performed way back when the show was at the Sci-Fi Lounge. O'Brien has stuck around to see them through at both Cicero's, the Demo and now the Elvis Room.

Which is what this doublin' up theme is all about: the returns, similarities and the follow through from beginning to end. Bare Knuckle Comedy is celebrating its fifth year running with a series of shows featuring their favorites, new friends and a good ol' fashioned open mic. You can check the full list of events on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 15 at FOAM Sean Patton featuring Douglas Ian Terry 8 p.m. Doors | 9 p.m. Show | $5

Sean Patton isn't going to let you down. He's goofy, sincere and has a stockpile of kinetic jokes that double as intricate stories. He's one of the guys who is at the tipping point of his "big break," though I'm not certain such a thing exists anymore. He's left his mark on the late-night TV shows, hosted a show of his own and made his way overseas for comedy festivals. Patton's accounts of shortcomings and victories are bona fide adventures of hilarity.

Along for the ride is Ian Douglas Terry, who dropped in at the Ben Kronberg show last month for a guest set. He, along with the OK Partyfolks, founded Crom Fest, a comedy festival out of Omaha that just had its second installment, which brought in a barrage of comedians from all over the country. But he is a splendid comedian first, do-er of great things for an alt and DIY-comedy scene second. He may contest that though, I suppose we'll find out.

Sorry Please Continue... Vol. 3 "My Crazy Family" Wednesday, July 30 at FOAM 8 p.m. Doors | 8:30 p.m. Show | Free

From the mastermind behind Foam's "Too Hip" Comedy Series comes Sorry, Please Continue... an event hosted (though they're more commentators than hosts) by a panel of standup comics for your average, and not so average, storytellers. The third volume is the bottom line for humorous and also agonizing stories. "My Crazy Family" is an adventure into the lives of strangers and the individuals who gave them something to talk about. If you would like to participate, you need not have experience in the art of comedy or storytelling, simply a willingness to share your tale. To be added to the list of storytellers, shoot Jeremy Hellwig an e-mail.

And if you missed it, the Improv Shop is doing a similar monthly series. Rather than a multitude of stories on one topic from a hodgepodge of both funny and non-funny people alike, their event focuses on a single storyteller rehashing a number of their life's notable events with the help of a few of the Shop's more seasoned players. Its last featured storyteller was Laura Hall, the music director for Whose Line Is It Anyway?

COURTESY OF JC SIBALA
  • Courtesy of JC Sibala

Wild Card Comedy Night Wednesdays beginning July 16 at the Blind Tiger 10 p.m. | Free

JC Sibala and Christopher Cyr have teamed up and put their brains together to assemble a not-so-ordinary open mic. There is practically an open mic every night of the week (and often more than one on any given night), so a new twist on an old trick ought to be welcome with open arms by the comedians and attendees alike. Comics will be forced to step out of their comfort zone as they pull a card from what's been dubbed the "Wildcard Circle of Death." JC has created a custom deck of cards that include a variety of "challenges" ranging from performing a clean set to a designated amount of crowd work to the coveted extra time and no microphone. The list goes on, but the surprise is half the fun. Wild Card Comedy will be a weekly event open to rookies and veterans and anyone in between -- signups for the show start at 10 p.m. with the start to follow promptly at 10:30 p.m.

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