KJindle Fire

It took Hal Sparks awhile to catch fire, but quirky commentary helped him find his true sense of comedic timing.

The 44-year-old made a name for himself with his role as comic-book loving Michael Novotny on the stateside version of Queer as Folk, a British-developed drama about the interwoven lives of a group of gay men and women living in Pittsburgh. But not everybody had Showtime to see the award-winning series, and Sparks became better known for his pop culture sound offs on VH1’s drawn-out I Love The… series -- discussing everything from Jon Bon Jovi’s acid wash to Furbies and back again -- and a hosting stint on E!’s Talk Soup in the late 1990s.

Catch the well-coiffed comedian at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Additional shows are slated for Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $17 with a two-drink minimum. Call 480-921-9877 or visit for more.

Thu., July 31, 8 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 1, 7:30 & 10 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 2, 7 & 10 p.m., 2014
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Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard