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Weekend live comedy preview

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Josh Sneed, performing at Crackers Broad Ripple, headlines a youthful cast of comedians in town this weekend.
  • Josh Sneed, performing at Crackers Broad Ripple, headlines a youthful cast of comedians in town this weekend.

There’s no shortage of youth in this week’s comedy lineup, which generally means two things: more obscurity and cheaper shows. I welcome both.

The normal formulaic info is at the bottom of the page, but this week’s comedy roster justifies some much-needed love for the beauty of a lineup like the one Indy has collectively put together.

It’s always baffled me to try and understand why someone would pay $40 or more for a balcony ticket to see someone tell jokes they’ve already heard. Stand-up comedy is not like seeing a musician or a movie, where the material has depth in its replay value (unless there is a reasonable gap since the last time you heard it, or you’re in an intimate venue or have really great seats). I’ve found that if you’re in a huge theater and can’t see the facial expressions of the performer, the aesthetic value of a live comedy show isn’t that much better than watching the DVD in your own home.

Obviously there are exceptions to this rule: I’d trade every comedy show I’ve ever been to if I could be in the very last row to see Richard Pryor, Jim Carrey and Chris Rock in the mid-to-late 90’s or Andy Kauffman.

This is why I love comedy in *clubs,* (as opposed to theaters) and don’t feel the slightest twinge of hesitance while plugging obscure comedians at Crackers or local improv shows at ComedySportz: even if I recommend something you hate, at least you are seeing something new that you hate, instead of something you already know that won’t make you any smarter than you were $40 ago. Sometimes seeing an awful comedian can be just what the doctor ordered; you have to know what you hate before you can understand why you love what you love. And that makes you love to love what you love even more. Or something.

Unfortunately, it also makes people think you’re an elitist when you can rip off a list of 40 reasons that Carlos Mencia and Larry the Cable Guy are the two worst things that ever happened to America.

Great comedy is all about unique perspective, and the variety of your own experiences in a room of 40 people laughing together is tantamount to developing new perspectives of your own. Even if that means listening to idiotic perspectives. At least afterward, when you and your friends walk out and have a beer and talk about how much the guy sucked, you are unwittingly learning new things about your own tastes, as well as those of your comrades. I’ve had more than one second date unintentionally hinge on the things a girl laughed at (or did not laugh at) in a comedy club. It worked out well for me—my fiancé has a brilliant sense of humor. Crackers has saved me a lot of time and frustration, leading up to her; there’s no point pretending a relationship has any future if you can’t laugh at the same things.

There are also hundreds of little golden nuggets hidden in these obscure shows; a lot of times the worst headliners have the best featured acts, and those featured acts become memorable when they’re not upstaged five minutes after they just thrilled you. I’m a huge proponent of almost any comedy show that’s not just a word-for-word rendition of a recently released album.

Unless there’s a bachelorette party in the crowd. Yikes.

Weekend Lineup:

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- Joe Derosa, 8 and 10:30 pm, $15. www.crackerscomedy.com

Crackers Broadripple- Josh Sneed, 8 and 10:30 pm, $15. www.crackerscomedy.com

Morty’s Comedy Joint- Tom Simmons, 8 and 10:15 pm, $10. www.mortyscomedy.com

ComedySportz- Improv, 7:30 pm, (and 10:00 on Sat.), $15, www.indycomedysportz.com

Comedysportz- Oz: Unscripted, 10:00 pm. Friday only. www.indycomedysportz.com

The Funny Bone (Bloomington) — Geoff Tate, 8 and 10:30 pm, $10. 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 aroberts@nuvo.net!


Joe Derosa takes the Crackers Downtown stage
  • Joe Derosa takes the Crackers Downtown stage
Josh Simmons is headlining at Mortys on the north side
  • Josh Simmons is headlining at Morty's on the north side

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