Comedy News

All the local comedy news you need to know about in and around Milwaukee!

Milwaukee Comedy supports the local comedy scene in Milwaukee, WI and surrounding areas with this comedy news blog, offering incite on the local comedy scene, info on area comedy shows, the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, special offers and ticket giveaways and more.Something missing?  Tell us about a local comedy event!

Check out more comedy in Milwaukee with our Comedy Event Calendar!

Nick Thune up close Oct. 1

Nick Thune is on fire. If you caught him in July on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (above), you know how hilarious and absurd and downhome Nick Thune is.

The success of his Netflix/iTunes/Vinyl comedy special “Folk Hero” attests to his popularity.

Nick Thune is a treat to watchers of late-night variety shows, including The Tonight Show, Conan and the former Chelsea Lately. His film credentials include Knocked Up, and he is Rich’s penis in Bad Johnson.

For one night only, Wednesday, Oct. 1, Nick Thune is appearing in the intimate space of Milwaukee’s Arcade Theatre. It’s part of Nick Thune in the Heartland: Midwest Tour w/Doogie Horner.

As Tyler Maas notes in Milwaukee Record, experiencing the talent of Nick Thune in a place like The Underground Collaborative ranks among “the rare occasions to see an artist at the height of their popularity in a personal, low-capacity setting.”

It’s still early enough to order your tickets before they’re gone. This is one comedy show you’ll want to be able to talking about firsthand afterward.

Nick Thune, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 1, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Tickets are $14 in advance, or $17 at the door (if any remain).

Bonus: Milwaukee’s own Allison Dune and Jake Kornely will be performing along with Seattle-raised Nick Thune. This just keeps getting better, right?

Variety Hour: Labor of Laughs

Variety Hour Happy Hour is one of the hardest-working comedy shows you’ll see on a regular basis in Milwaukee.

That’s not to say a lot of preparation and practice does not go into most improv or standup, but this sketch show is scripted and rehearsed ensemble, and it includes live music, thanks to the talents of Brian Bayer at the keyboard.

Those who have witnessed the Variety Hour Happy Hour in the past, including those who saw the performance in the 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival, can tell you how entertaining these funny people are:

  • Nick Firer
  • Jake Woelfel
  • Brian Bayer
  • Rob Maass
  • Tess Rutkowski

And the Variety Hour Happy Hour includes special guests, so there’s always someone new to the mix.

Next Variety Hour: 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5 at the Arcade Theatre

Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door.

Be part of comedy history Saturday

Comedy history is being recorded again in Milwaukee, and you can be there.

Milwaukee Comedy is hanging new curtains in the Arcade Theatre just in time to accommodate the third iteration of the Comedic Release Show.

That’s when eight of the funniest standup comedians in the area perform and their show is recorded to be released on a CD.

The first two Comedic Release Shows packed the place, which made for not only great performances but also super-sounding CDs.

This latest episode of comedy history will be emceed by Tyler Menz*, with eight-minute routines by each of the following:

  • Steve Breese
  • JJ Harris
  • Matty Field
  • Lisan Wood
  • Liz Ziner
  • KC Michelson and
  • Jake Kornely*

Seating is limited. The possibilities are not.

Comedy history, 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level

Tickets are $8 in advance; $10 at the door.

(*Tyler and Jake also happen to co-host The Good Night Milwaukee Show, with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz, next appearing on Saturday, Sept. 27.)

DIY Improvisational Comedy - FREE

Whether to stretch improvisational comedy muscles you’ve already flexed before or to first discover the magic of yes-and in relationships, come to the Free Open Improv Wednesday.

Every other week, members of Sketch Marks comedy lead all comers in a friendly, exhilarating session of making up brief scenes live on stage, based on time-tested techniques and the wits of everyone involved.

The next Free Open Improv is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the Arcade Theatre in the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. It’s the home of Milwaukee Comedy.

Most street parking is free after 6 p.m. But there’s also convenient parking in the Grand Avenue Mall.

Save the Dates: Free Open Improv every other Wednesday!


Quick Bits with a Rubber Chicken

The 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival has crossed the road. It is hysterical history. However, we have collected spontaneous exhibitions of comedy from some of the dozens of performers and comedian volunteers who participated in Wisconsin’s largest comedy event. Because it has become our tradition. That’s why.

At the 2013 festival, we asked for knock-knock jokes. And then we asked again.

In 2012, given that the festival’s mascot is Clucky, the rubber chicken, we had volunteers and performers share chicken jokes. And then we asked for more.

This year, we handed folks a rubber chicken and asked for a brief comedy bit.

Among the contributors to the video above are:

  • Ryan Lowe
  • Jon Waldbauer
  • Patrick Schmitz
  • Becca Segal
  • Miguel Browne
  • Kristin Althoff 
  • Keenan Gibson
  • Jason Hillman
  • Mary Zee
  • Hakim Collins
  • Amanda Sinko
  • James Boland

(Not the) Same old song and dance

It’s the same only different.

Each third Thursday of the month (as it has been for three years), The Improvised Musical (T.I.M.) performs at 7:30 p.m. at ComedySportz for $5 admission.

But every month, the one-hour Broadway-style musical they perform is different. Because they’re improvised. That’s why.

Each musical is launched by a suggestion yelled out from the audience – which in recent months has filled all the seats in the capacious arena, at 420 S. 1st St. And guess what? This Thursday, Aug. 21, is the third Thursday of the month.

As we informed you earlier, these improvisers of song and dance – and their in-house band – are on their way to the New York Musical Improv Festival in October. That’s just a reminder that these monthly shows in Milwaukee are special.

To make sure you have a spot to sit in, reserve your tickets at (414) 272-8888.

Godfrey brings comedy to Milwaukee Wednesday

Godfrey has made you laugh in such TV shows as “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “30 Rock” and “Louie” and in such movies as Zoolander, Soul Plane and Phat Girlz.

He was raised by immigrant parents in Chicago where he was the class clown and went on to play football at the University of Illinois. He was a soda pop pitchman (“7Up Yours”) and warmed up studio audiences for “The Cosby Show.”

Now Godfrey (Yeah, one name, like Prince and Cher.) is shining his comedy brilliance in Milwaukee.

Wednesday, Aug. 20, Godfrey appears at Milwaukee’s Comedy Café.

Godfrey’s show starts at 8 p.m. at 615 E. Brady St. Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. There’s a two-drink minimum. (Maybe you can make them both 7Ups.)

Godfrey is presented by Milwaukee Comedy. He’ll be accompanied by Milwaukee comedy standouts:

Don’t be the schmuck who has to listen to others raving about Godfrey afterward – or the one who ends up whining that you tried to see him but it was sold out. Get your tickets now.

4 Guys, 1 Exit

If you caught them in their previous engagements, including the conclusion to the 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival, then you won’t want to miss the talented teenagers in 4 Guys, 1 Mic.

The cast includes four recent Milwaukee high school graduates (and one who’s going to be a junior) who are about to part ways as the four leave town for college.

From Facebook:

“This is it ladies and gentlemen. The Cast and crew of 4 Guys, 1 Mic are heading off into different paths of the world and this is the finale show. Come down and see the 4 Guys perform sketches, improv, music, and much more. The comedy won’t stop coming in this the final show… or is it?”

The guys include:

Sunday afternoon, the guys performed the final show of the four-day Comedy Fest at Next Act Theatre. They improvised a hilarious show about a circus, which closed, appropriately, with the circus owner telling everyone good-bye.

See 4 Guys, 1 Mic at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 15 at ComedySportz.

They’re playing in the Farina Arena, 420 S. 1st St. Doors open at 6:30. Admission is $5 cash.

Romeo & Juliet, for giggles

After his smash-hit spoof of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Milwaukee comedy yoda Patrick Schmitz chose a lesser-known work to parody: Romeo and Juliet.

As he notes in the video interview above (shot at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival), Patrick pays homage to the Shakespeare tragedy while making it a comedy.

The cast is a Milwaukee comedy director’s wish list, including some of Patrick’s talented youngsters from the Organized Chaos improv program at First Stage Theater.

Don’t believe us? Look:

  • Joey Flegel-Mishlove as Romeo
  • Emilie Lozier as Juliet
  • Maxwell Zupke as Benvolio
  • Rich Laguna as Lord Capulet
  • Amanda Eaton as Lady Capulet
  • James Boland as Lord Montague
  • Robby McGhee as Lady Montague
  • Beth Ann the Nurse
  • Kristoffer Puddicombe as Friar Lawrence
  • Tim Higgins as Tybalt
  • Alan Guszkowski as Mercutio
  • Erik Koconis as Paris
  • Alec Sill as Sampson
  • Vince Figueroa as The Chorus & The Apothecary
  • Lee Rowley as Prince Escalus
  • Matthew Garnaas as Abrahm & Friar John
  • Grant Boyer as Gregory & Peter

The Comedy of Romeo & Juliet Kinda Sorta

runs at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21, Friday, Aug. 22 and Saturday, Aug. 23 at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

Please click here for tickets, which are selling fast. At $12 for Thursday and $15 for Friday and Saturday.

Free Open Improv Wednesday

Fresh off of the fabulous 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival, Milwaukee Comedy is offering its Free Open Improv Wednesday at Milwaukee Comedy's Arcade Theatre.

The first two Free Open Improv sessions attracted an amazing  mix of veteran and novice improvisers who collaborated in free-flowing impromptu acting. With your participation, the third bi-weekly session, Wednesday, Aug. 13, could be even better.

Free Open Improv begins at 7 p.m., in the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. Just go downstairs from T.J. Maxx at the Grand Avenue Mall.

Join the fun at Free Open Improv Wednesday.

Free Open Improv is run by members of Sketch Marks comedy, which was one of the local groups performing in last weekend's Milwaukee Comedy Festival.

Each of the nine shows in the festival featured improv performers – highlighted by the debut of Three to Turn the Stool at the 10 p.m. Saturday show. Teenage improv groups from First Stage, Brown Deer High School and Milwaukee Rufus King High School also performed on Teen Day Sunday at the festival. 



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