If you complain that there's nothing to do in Indianapolis you're a cynical idiot. Also, Merry Christmas.
Now that those two things are off my chest...there's a lot of good comedy around town this weekend, and if you're interested in heading out to a comedy club, your choice is made even more difficult by the other great arts and community events around the city.
The Naptown Roller Girls have a double-header Saturday night, tonight is "First Friday," David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries" play is debuting this weekend at IndyFringe, tonight Irvington has their Christmas festival with horse-drawn carriage rides around the neighborhood and special deals at the local shops, and there are heaping spoonfuls of other Christmasy goodness around town— the list goes on and on. And, regrettably, with snow on the horizon it's entirely too tempting to just rent a movie and start a fire. In the fireplace, that is.
Making matters worse, anyone that knows me has been suckered into helping me move tomorrow in the snow. There are many bad weekends to be my friend, and this is perhaps the worst of them.
Tragically, there are only so many hours in a weekend, and in addition to a lot of great comedy, there's also a lot of general warmth to be found on this perfectly seasonal December weekend. So while I feel good about most of the comedy shows around town, I don't feel confident in any single one of them to suggest it over another.
Here's the rundown:
Bill Bellamy at Crackers Broad Ripple- I've never seen Bill Bellamy live, but he's very similar to D.L. Hughley in his sense of humor and subject-matter; and come to think of it, Hughley has performed on the exact same stage on almost the exact same weekend each of the last two years. Bellamy, it seems, is "taking his place" this year— whether that's a coincidence or by design of Cracker's or a promotions agency, I have no idea. But I think he'll thrive in a comedy club environment; I expect a lot of off-script crowd interaction and jokes about Indianapolis. Mainstream comedians are always at their best in a club they feel like they're too good for. I never cared for Hughley on TV but on the Broad Ripple stage he was one of the best acts I've seen.
Stewart Huff at Crackers Downtown- I've written about Huff a few times before, but haven't seen him live in four or five years. Once again, I'm going to miss him. He's not even the headliner, but he alone is worth the price of admission, and if the headliner Tim Harrison turns out to be even better than Huff, it's just an added bonus.
Reno Collier at Morty's- Never heard him and don't want to. His opening line of his bio says something about touring with Larry the Cable Guy.
Christmas Carol: Unscripted- I love this series at ComedySportz. It runs Friday nights at 10:30, all month long. Also worth noting at ComedySportz this weekend, Jeff Clawson is performing in the regular improv shows. I am biased because we were in the same IU Sketch comedy troupe (though he graduated before I arrived), but he is ComedySportz's best comic, hands down.
Brian Posehn at the Funny Bone in Bloomington- HUGE show and if Bloomington is within reach to you this weekend this is the show to see. He's one of the best "indie comics," if you will— he runs around with Zach Galifinakis and Patton Oswalt.
Price listed is the lowest available, and all shows are Friday and Saturday, unless otherwise noted. Most also have Weds, Thurs., and Sunday shows; check their website for more info.
Crackers Downtown- Tim Harrison w/Stewart Huff, 8 and 10:30 pm, $15. www.crackerscomedy.com
Crackers Broadripple- Bill Bellamy, 8 and 10:30 pm, $22. www.crackerscomedy.com
Morty’s Comedy Joint- Reno Collier, 8 and 10:30pm, $15. www.mortyscomedy.com
ComedySportz- Improv, 7:30 pm, (and 10:00 on Sat.), $15, www.indycomedysportz.com
Comedysportz- A Christmas Carol: Unscripted, 10:00 pm. Friday only, $12. www.indycomedysportz.com
The Comedy Attic (Bloomington) — Brian Posehn, 8 and 10:30 pm, $20. www.funnybonebtown.com
More than most forms of entertainment, stand-up comedy lineups are subject to last-minute changes, as well as unexpected sell-outs. Please be sure to check the website of the venue (or call and reserve tickets) before heading out, and make sure to be aware of any updated times, prices, availability or performers.
If you are aware of any upcoming events or venues that are not included here, please feel free to comment them below or email firstname.lastname@example.org!