Something funny is in the air.
Make that 13 things. This fall we're finding you the best ways to bust a gut with stand-up specials happening all around the Valley. Whether they're old-school-style stand-up artists or up-and-coming comedians, here are performances you oughta mark on your calendar.
Last Comic Standing Mesa Arts Center September 17
Last Comic Standing finalists D.C. Benny, Nikki Carr, Rocky Laporte, Joe Machi, Monroe Martin, Karlous Miller, Lachlan Patterson, Aida Rodriguez, Jimmy Shubert, and winner Rod Man are giving audiences one last laugh with a cross-country tour. Catch the 2014 contestants at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 17, at Mesa Arts Center. Tickets are $40. Visit www.mesaartscenter.com.
Kathleen Madigan Talking Stick Resort September 19
Everyone's favorite alcoholic Irish Catholic gambler is coming to, where else, Talking Stick Resort on Friday, September 19. For 25 years, the little comedian that could has been making audiences laugh with tales of drinking, driving, and the little homeless people she calls children. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $80. Visit www.talkingstickresort.com.
W. Kamau Bell Tempe Improv September 21
Bay Area comic W. Kamau Bell is bringing his social, political comedy to Tempe Improv at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 21. Bell is best known for hosting the FXX show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and his two comedy albums ONE NIGht ONLY and Face Full of Flour . For more information, visit tempeimprov.com.
Rich Talarico Torch Theatre October 3 and 4
The Peabody Award-winning writer and co-producer of Comedy Central's Key and Peele is going back to his comedy roots at Torch Theatre. In addition to hosting to single-day improv workshops at the central Phoenix venue, Rich Talarico will also be performing alongside Torch teachers and founders. Shows are Friday, October 3, at 10 p.m as well as Saturday, October 4, at 8:30 and 10 p.m. Performance admission is $10, and workshop registration is currently sold out. Interested improv actors can purchase tickets for a show or add themselves to the waiting list of the $!50 class by visiting www.thetorchtheatre.com.
Bill Maher Comerica Theatre October 4
Love him or hate him, Bill Maher makes no apologies. But he does make the occasional new stand-up special. The controversial political comedian is coming back to the Valley for a one-night-only show. The Bill Maher stand-up special happens at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 4, at Comerica Theatre. Visit www.ticketmaster.com for details.
Sara Schaefer Stand Up Live October 9
You're already aware of which comedians you should know. Now here's one that you should at least be watching. Sara Schaefer is a Emmy-award winning writer and comedian who's hosted shows like MTV's Nikki & Sara Live as well as her most recent web series Day Job. Chances are, if you haven't seen her, you've probably read her jokes as the head blogger for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Schaefer performs at Stand Up Live at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 4. Tickets are $17. Visit standuplive.com.
Margaret Cho Stand Up Live October 10 to 11
She's here, she's queer, and she's coming to Phoenix. Comedian and activist Margaret Cho may have numerous comedy albums, television and film appearances, and off-Broadway performances under her belt, but she's not finished doing what she started: stand-up. Cho will take to the Stand Up Live stage at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, October 10, and 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 11. Tickets are $30. Visit standuplive.com.
Wanda Sykes Celebrity Theatre October 17
How do we love Wanda Sykes? Let us count the ways, starting with the fact that she doesn't give a fuck. The longtime actor, Emmy award-winning writer, and comedian best known for hilarious subjective take on being a black, gay woman will be bringing her signature style of I'm a Be Me comedy to Celebrity Theatre at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. Tickets range from $46 to $96. Visit celebritytheatre.com.
Bill Cosby Mesa Arts Center November 11
Comedian Bill Cosby needs no introduction. Whether you've watched The Cosby Show, I Spy, and Fat Albert or read books like Fatherhood and I Didn't Ask to Be Born, But I'm Glad I Was, you know that Cosby is one of the greatest entertainers of his generation. Cosby will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, at Mesa Arts Center. Tickets range $54 to $74. Visit www.mesaartscenter.com.
Nick Swardson Talking Stick November 15
There's more to Nick Swardson than short-shorts and roller blades. The comedian and actor who first caught our attention as gay prostitute Terry Bernadino on Comedy Central's Reno 911, has earned his fair share of comedy street cred through performances including stand-up specials Party and Seriously, Who Farted? Swardson performs at Talking Stick Resort at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 15. Tickets range from $35 to$155. Visit www.talkingstickresort.com.
Tom Segura Stand Up Live December 4 to 7
Chances are you've watched the Tom Segura special Completely Normal on Netflix more than once. We can't blame you. The unapologetic comedian who shares his observations on television, traveling, and sex will be bringing his humor to Stand Up Live. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, December 5, 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, and 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 7. Tickets are $17. Visit www.standuplive.com.
Sklar Borthers Tempe Improv December 11 to 14
Like they say, two is better than one. Hence the success of the funny bone-tickling twins Randy and Jason Sklar. The duo that did their fair share of appearances in shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Children's Hospital have a new comedy special, What Are They Talking About , currently available on Netflix. The Sklar Brothers will perform at Tempe Improv on Thursday, October 11 at 8 p.m., Friday, October 12, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., Saturday, October 13, at 7 and 10 p.m., Sunday, October 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Visit tempeimprov.com for more information.
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Brian Regan Comerica Theatre December 31
If you haven't already bought your tickets since we first told you about Brian Regan's New Year's Eve performance in Phoenix, now would be the time. The longtime comedian who covers everything from how he likes his coffee to what he thinks about flying will take his 2014 North American tour to Comerica Theatre at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31. Tickets range $47 to $79.75. Visit www.livenation.com.