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5 Comedy Shows to Put on Your Fall Calendar

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Patton Oswalt. - S_BUKLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • S_Bukley / Shutterstock.com
  • Patton Oswalt.

Who doesn't love to laugh? Fun-haters, that's who, and screw those guys. Your friends are hilarious, sure, and there's an entire Internet full of cats waiting to bring the ell oh ells directly to your smartphone. But there's really nothing like surrendering an evening to a professional chortle-monger, going out into the world and laughing in a room full of strangers.

Good standup comedy is a thing of beauty — trenchant, observational and absurd. Truly bad comedy is its own kind of hilarious (for at least, like, half an hour), and if you're willing to drop your prejudices, even "lame" comics who are good enough to be touring can probably yank a few giggles out of you. (I'm looking at you, arena full of belly-laughing people who "ironically" took free tickets to Carrot Top circa 2004.)

Lots of good comics are stopping in St. Louis this fall — act fast. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com.

1. Patton Oswalt at the Pageant

6161 Delmar Boulevard, 314-726-6161.
September 10, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $43.35

Patton Oswalt is the snarky, doughy uncle everyone wants to sit next to at Thanksgiving. He's been in everything — and has truly embraced Twitter as an instantaneous means for shit-stirring. His stand at the Pageant (www.thepageant.com) may well sell out.

2. Jon Lovitz at Lumiere Place

999 N. Second Street, 314-881-7777.
September 12, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets $25 to 35.

Did you like the show The Critic? It was a pretty funny animated series built around Jon Lovitz as a movie critic telling his viewers, "It stinks!" Lovitz is an SNL alum with plenty of movie credits under his belt and even guest spots on Seinfeld and Friends — '90s game is strong. See him at Lumière Place (www.lumiereplace.com) next month.

3. John Hodgman at the Ready Room

4195 Manchester Avenue, 314-833-3929
September 23; doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets $25.

While John Hodgman has long since transcended the role that introduced him to many — that of the tragically unhip PC to Justin Long's awesome bro of a Mac — he still maintains a certain stuffy punctiliousness. And that's a good thing, as devotees of the Judge John Hodgman podcast can attest. He plays the Ready Room (www.thereadyroom.com) next month.

4. Kathleen Madigan at Peabody Opera House

1400 Market Street, 314-499-7600.
October 17, 8 p.m. Tickets $32.

Florissant's own Kathleen Madigan (McCluer North, since obviously you were going to ask) may have moved to Los Angeles, but she still draws plenty of inspiration from her big, working-class Irish family. She's been pounding the road for 25 years, after taking a shot at journalism and bartending. The Peabody (www.peabodyoperahouse.com) is a fine step up from her humble beginnings.

5. Janeane Garofalo at the Ready Room

4195 Manchester Avenue, 314-833-3929
October 24. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m. Tickets $25.

The acid tongue of Janeane Garofalo has provided an alternative voice in comedy since the 1990s. Whether you loved her as the brainy foil to beautiful, dumb Uma Thurman in the Cyrano de Bergerac-inspired rom-com The Truth About Cats & Dogs or you're more a fan of her liberal, feminist political side, she'll have plenty to talk about during her show at the Ready Room (www.thereadyroom.com).


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