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!

Jimbo Jameson: Man, Myth and Mustache

This is how rumors get started.

A caption on a photo accompanying an article on WisconsinGazette.com might suggest that Matt Kemple is the same person as Jimbo Jameson.

In the article, Matthew Reddin reports on the 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival, Aug. 7-10. He writes:

“What’s the funniest event in Milwaukee?

Most comedy aficionados would say that’s an easy question to answer: the Milwaukee Comedy Festival.”

Following his recent article for the Shepherd Express on comedy workshops in Milwaukee, Reddin wrote for the Gazette that Kemple anticipates a breakout year for the 2014 comedy fest, said to be the largest comedy event in Wisconsin. The article described how the festival’s nine shows are set up to showcase a variety of styles of comedy from both local performers and acts as far away as Los Angeles and Toronto.

To tell the truth, we have long suspected that Jimbo was just Kemple in disguise. They have certain undeniably similar features. Plus, we never saw the two of them together.

That is, not until the 2013 Milwaukee Comedy Festival, when Jimbo and Kemple once shared the stage briefly between acts.

We are not about to challenge the Gazette’s credibility. Indeed, we rely on it as a reliable and well-presented source of news. Let us just say we shall wait for more substantiation on Jimbo’s identity.

Click here for Milwaukee Comedy Festival tickets.

At the door, they’re $20 or $15 in advance and $50 for an all-access pass. The festival is at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

Milwaukee Comedy Fest intro: Cash Grab

Back again to make the Milwaukee Comedy Festival a truly international comedy festival is Cash Grab – a sketch comedy troupe based in Toronto.

Members include Steve Gignac, Kyle McParland, Ashley Moffatt, Bruno Seiler, Ron Sider and Kyle Woolven. Ashley is the only woman. We just point that out because Ashley can be a man’s name, too.

More, from Cash Grab’s website:

“Cash Grab represents a new (and growing) generation of Canadian comedy – comedians that actually studied comedy in college. The troupe met while enrolled in Humber College’s Comedy: Writing and Performance program and have been performing together ever since.

Since graduating in the spring of 2012, the Cash Grabbers have seen their success take off. They were nominated for the prestigious Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award and were selected to compete in the Fresh Meat competition at The Second City. Highlights for Cash Grab in 2013 were appearances in the Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival, Milwaukee Comedy Festival, and advancing to the final round of Toronto's Sketch ComAgeddon competition.”

Enjoy Cash Grab in the 8 p.m. show on Saturday, Aug. 9, along with

Tickets are $15 in advance by clicking here or $20 at the door. For $50, you can get an All-Access Pass admitting you to each and every one of the nine Milwaukee Comedy Festival shows, Aug. 7-10, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

History of the Milwaukee Comedy Festival

The year was 2006.

  • The 140-character Internet messaging service Twitter is launched.
  • President George W. Bush signs a law renewing the anti-terrorist Patriot Act and includes a statement to Congress that he does not have to tell them how the law is being used.
  • After singing about it for 48 years, finally, Paul McCartney is 64.
  • Unfettered by any voter ID laws, Wisconsin citizens turn out (some more than once) to approve a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage.
  • Wildlife enthusiast and international television celebrity Steve Irwin, better known as the Crocodile Hunter, is killed by a fish.
  • After four years of marriage, Heather Mills announces her divorce, finally, from Paul McCartney, age 64.

Also making history in 2006, the Milwaukee Comedy Festival began. Learn more about the origin story of Wisconsin's largest comedy event through the mini-documentary above, thanks to Milwaukee comedians Ryan Lowe and Jeff Lampton.

Among the first acts to perform at the first Milwaukee Comedy Festival was a new local all-female sketch comedy group calling itself broadminded. The “broads*” have performed in every Milwaukee Comedy Festival since.

See broadminded comedy perform in the 8 p.m. show, Thursday, Aug. 7 along with:

  • Matt Griffo, musical standup, from Chicago
  • Geofrey Asmus, standup, from Madison

Tickets are $15 in advance by clicking here or $20 at the door. For $50, you can get an All-Access Pass admitting you to each and every one of the nine Milwaukee Comedy Festival shows, Aug. 7-10, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

 

* They can call themselves that. You can't.

Milwaukee Comedy Fest Intro: Mary Zee

Mary Zee has an endearing, self-reflective approach to standup comedy. She boasts about resembling former SNL comedian Molly Shannon and has a huge following on LinkedIn.

Her Twitter profile (@Zemidas_Touch) describes the resident of Chicago’s Logan Square as a comedian, writer and time thief. A recent tweet gives us a peek at the thoughtfulness and wit of Mary Zee (pronounced Zed in her European tour):

“No trash cans on this stretch of road so I am holding a banana peel as I walk to a comedy open mic. In the biz, we call that brainstorming.”

We’re grateful she didn’t drop that peel and slip on it (funny as that might be). Because we’re looking forward to seeing Mary Zee at the 9th Annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival. That’s why.

Catch Mary Zee in the 8 p.m. show on Friday, Aug. 8, along with

  • Sketch Marks, sketch comedy, Milwaukee, including Kristin Althoff, Joel Dresang, Amanda Eaton, Scott Heaton, Lee Rowley*, Becca Segal and Lindsey Walcott
  • and our good friends Tall Boys improv, also from Milwaukee, including James Boland, Erik Koconis, Robbie McGhee, and Lee Rowley*, and coached by Jared Stepp

Tickets are $15 in advance by clicking here or $20 at the door. For $50, you can get an All-Access Pass admitting you to each and every one of the nine Milwaukee Comedy Festival shows, Aug. 7-10, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

*You can also see Lee Rowley in the 6 p.m. show, Saturday, Aug. 9, with Vince Figueroa and James Boland in Busy Bar improv.

Milwaukee Comedy Fest Intro: Matt Griffo

Matt Griffo loves cookie dough, apparently. But decidedly, Milwaukee Comedy Festival goers love Matt Griffo.

The nerdy, endearing musical comedian originally from Rochester, N.Y., has a knack of taking uncomfortable subjects, such as his grandfather’s racism, and putting them to clever lyrics in catchy tunes.

Son of a musician, Matt initially taught himself to play piano. He migrated to Chicago, where he pursued comedy through Second City and eventually combined his musical ear with his funny bone. From his website:

Matt Griffo is an up and coming Chicago based musician, actor, and comedian. He’s been performing at festivals across the country since 2008, has opened for Reggie Watts and is the composer for the Chicago smash hit: Jersey Shore The Musical. He has songs about the environment, racism, love, and zombies. He’s joined on stage by his piano, ukulele, and unique brand of witty and off the wall comedy.

See Matt Griffo in the 8 p.m. show, Thursday, Aug. 7 along with:

  • Geofrey Asmus, standup, from Madison
  • and our good friends broadminded, sketch comedy, Milwaukee, who have been in every fest since it started in 2006

Tickets are $15 in advance by clicking here or $20 at the door. For $50, you can get an All-Access Pass admitting you to each and every one of the nine Milwaukee Comedy Festival shows, Aug. 7-10, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

Wednesday: Free Open Improv

It’s that time of the every-other-week again when members of Sketch Marks comedy host a Free Open Improv at Milwaukee Comedy’s Arcade Theatre.

The first Free Open Improv session drew a fun mix of veteran and novice improvisers who engaged in an hour of free-flowing impromptu acting. With your participation, the second session, Wednesday, July 30, could be even better.

The 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.

See Sketch Marks in the Milwaukee Comedy Festival:

They’re in the 8 p.m. show, Friday, Aug. 8, along with:

Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 at the door; $50 for an All-Access Pass admitting you to each of the nine shows at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, Aug. 7-10, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

Milwaukee Comedy Fest Intro: Rob Christensen

Like the Dodgers of baseball renown, Rob Christensen is based in Los Angeles but started in Brooklyn, N.Y.

As his bio explains of Rob Christensen:

“He’s been a skateboarder, rapper, graffiti artist, and Air Force Sergeant; but failing at all of that lead him to comedy. Rob’s inexcusable behavior as a kid helped him develop a sharp, smart, and urban sense of humor.”

(Click here to read what Steve Kabelowsky wrote about Rob Christensen for OnMilwaukee.com.)

Rob Christensen’s well-developed humor has earned him superlative comedy credentials on stage and screen. Last year, he won the Westside Standup Showdown in Santa Monica, Calif. The year before that, he wrote and starred in the TV pilot “Low Lifes.”

This year, among his many appearances nationwide, Rob Christensen is performing at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival.

See Rob Christensen in the 8 p.m. show, Saturday, Aug. 9 along with:

Tickets are $15 in advance by clicking here or $20 at the door. For $50, you can get an All-Access Pass admitting you to each and every one of the nine Milwaukee Comedy Festival shows, Aug. 7-10, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

 

Your Guide to the 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival

comedy fest-tallYou like to laugh, and we have all the laughs you need (plus a few extra just to be safe). There is plenty of info out there (like this post from Milwaukee Record) on the comedy taking the stage in the 9th Milwaukee Comedy Festival. So to give you some info on all the little stuff, here is your official Guide to the 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival! We tackle the BIG questions like: is there parking? (yes, and FREE!) and is there a bar? (yes, but not free). Keep reading if you want more info than that. We’ll start this out nice and easy: The 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival will take place at Next Act Theatre (255 S. Water St. in Walker’s Point).

What are the shows like?

Every show is different and features a variety of live comedy including stand up, improv and sketch comedy. There are nine different shows featuring dozens of the best comedy acts from across the continent! Expect to see some of the best comedians around, many of them appearing on television and touring across the country. Shows are for those 18+ (except the Teen Comedy Show!). Seating is General Admission for all shows. Each show requires a separate ticket or an All Access Pass to enter. We suggest purchasing tickets ahead of time as shows often sell out (Ticket info is below).jimbo The official Kick Off Event is Wednesday, August 6th starting at 7pm. Then we jump right into another 8 shows Thursday, August 7th at 6pm and end with the Teen Comedy Show on Sunday, Aug. 10th at 2pm.  You can see the complete line up right here.

Food and Drinks

Food will be provided by some fantastic food vendors this year: American Euros, Hard Wood Cafe and Pete’s Pops! Yum! There is full bar service at Next Act Theatre. This years comedy festival is fortunate to partner with Sprecher Brewery and Great Lakes Distillery! We will feature delicious beer and soda from Sprecher, and mixing cocktails with GLD spirits. mcftickets

Tickets

If you plan indulge in comedy like you do for Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to grab an All Access Pass. There is less indigestion, and there are some great perks (like a cool lanyard and picking your seat before anyone else!). It saves you a few bucks too, $50 to get into 9 different shows: that’s les than $6 a show! Word on the street is there is a limited number, so grab one while you can. If your interested in seeing shows ala carte, Single Tickets are only $15 if you buy them now, or you can wait and pay $20 day of the show. You can also buy tickets by calling the Next Act Theatre box office at 414-278-0765 or visiting them at 255 S. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53204.

Parking and DirectionsNext Act

Next Act Theatre is located in Historic Walkers Point, right by the new 88.9 Radio Milwaukee studio. The Milwaukee Comedy Festival offers Free Parking available via the adjacent parking lot next to Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St., as well as plenty of street parking that is free! Don’t forget about the great restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the area. Here is a map!

Looking for even more info? Check out the official Milwaukee Comedy Website: http://festival.milwaukeecomedy.com

Blonde ambition

GreendaleThose folks at Greendale Community Theatre are at it again with another ambitious musical with an overachieving cast.

The latest production: Legally Blonde – The Musical.

From the website:

“Watch Harvard Law’s beloved blonde take the stage by sparkling pink storm in this fun, upbeat show starring some of Southeast Wisconsin’s most talented vocalists and dancers.  This much fun shouldn’t be legal!  (See what we did there?)

Based on the movie, this award-winning musical stays true to form with a playful score and clever script. But it’s not all silver stilettos, perfectly coordinated skirt suits, Fendi bags and false eyelashes, as the story is rich in clever wit and a message of self-discovery.”

Legally Blonde begins Thursday, July 24 and runs through the next two weekends. That includes July 25, 26, 27 and 31 as well as Aug. 1 and 2.
All performances are at 7:30 p.m., except for the July 27 Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Legally Blonde is appearing at Greendale High School, 6801 Southway, Greendale. 

Tickets are $15.

Goodnight Milwaukee, Hello Fest

If you have had the misfortune of missing the Goodnight Milwaukee Show with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz, we pity you. Because you have missed out on jokes and jokey bits and amusing interviews and Milwaukee roulette and Chris the Intern and original music and cooking demonstrations and videos, including this number by Ryan Lowe and Robby McGhee.

Lucky for you, like the Postman, the opportunity to see Goodnight Milwaukee rings more than once. Follow this innovative late-night live-theater comedy show on Twitter (@GoodnightMilwaukee), friend it on Facebook and check back on MilwaukeeComedy.com for updates.

The next Goodnight Milwaukee show is part of the kickoff of the 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival. Catch them in the Milwaukee Comedy Showcase at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, at the Next Act Theatre space, 255 S. Water St. Also in the kickoff:

  • After School Special – another reunion performance by the Milwaukee-based improv students who split up to go off to college
  • Crouch Comedy – the Milwaukee sketch group that helped launch the 8th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival and has performed shows at Milwaukee’s Arcade Theatre and at a fund raiser at ComedySportz

The whole kickoff is $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Get tickets here.

Milwaukee Comedy Fest – Wisconsin’s biggest comedy event – Aug. 7-10!

Tickets are $15 a show in advance ($20 at the door) or $50 for an All-Access Pass, including admission to all the events and priority seating.

  • Tickets Tickets Buy Tickets for upcoming Milwaukee Comedy Events!
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  • Retro Comedy Show Retro Comedy Show A night of new comedy based on old ideas! Standup, improv and a surprise retro 70's, 80's or 90's sitcom live on stage.
  • Variety Hour Happy Hour Variety Hour Happy Hour An all new variety comedy show with live music, special guests and plenty of comedy acts!
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