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!

Say G'day to Comedy!

Milwaukee’s getting ready to grab a beer and toss back some laughs with Austrailian Jim Jefferies! Jefferies current tour, ‘Day Streaming’, will make its way to The Pabst Theater on March 22 (Tickets here ). Milwaukee Comedy got the chance to speak with Jefferies about his experiences in our town, his current tour, and offer a bit of suggestion for aspiring comedians. Jim Jefferies has a loyal fan base dedicated to his unique and engaging style of storytelling.

Jim Jefferies

       “The audiences in Milwaukee have always provided me with solid shows” Jefferies’ said, “I have never had to kick anyone out or manage any disturbances during a gig in Milwaukee. They have always been very memorable and sold out shows.”

Milwaukeeans often have shared information about great brewery selections and restaurants with Jefferies to enjoy some of  Milwaukee’s exceptional food and beverage culture.

       “I don’t usually get much of a chance to experience the cities I’ve perform in since usually I‘m only there for one day.” Jefferies said, ”I have visited the iconic ‘Bronze Fonz’ since it has a meaningful tie to men my age.”  

When asked what audiences can expect out of this tour, Jefferies’ mentioned-Day Streaming-is loosely based off the idea of “wanking it in the middle of the day” to porn on the internet. Although, this performance is not a long series of crude and outlandish masturbation material—rather Jefferies will maintain his prolific style of storytelling comedy on this tour with topics including the second amendment, religion, and material based around his television show ‘LEGIT’ as he prepares to tape his next comedy special.

Jefferies’ comedy appeals to audiences because he offers an honest scrutiny without restriction towards any subject matter he may be tackling in a particular joke. Jefferies pointed out that his comedy is often “labeled as a ‘dirty’ or ‘dark’ humored comedian”. However, he doesn’t agree with this label since his storytelling approach to comedy comes directly from his personal point of view and sensitivity towards his environment.

Milwaukee Comedy asked Jefferies about getting his start in comedy and if he could share some advice for young comedians.

       “It’s a but of a crap shoot; when you get good enough, head out to New York or LA. I’ve noticed American comedians often work on their ‘tight 5’ to work towards getting a late night spot for television.”

This directly corresponds with the general identity and function of many open mic scenes. Open mics usually provide short amounts of stage time for aspiring comedians to work on material for 3-5 minutes nightly.

Jefferies had a rare opportunity when starting comedy.


“In Australia”, He said, “I started doing 40 minute sets in mining towns, so I really learned how to stretch my jokes and work on telling stories.”

He then added a tip on keeping fresh material:

       “Try to write at least one new minute of material a week and that’ll give you about one new hour a year. More than half of it may be crap, but at least your giving the audiences something new to hear and a reason to come back to see you’

You can see Jim Jefferies on Saturday, March 22 at The Pabst Theater! Tickets are available now on The Pabst website. You can keep up with Jim on Facebook and Twitter. Also you can catch Jim Jefferies’ new television series ‘LEGIT’ Wednesday nights on FXX. 

10 hours of improv

If you don't know it already, you will: This is the 30th anniversary of Milwaukee-based ComedySportz.

The influence of the innovator of short-form competitive comedy improv spans the globe and includes the Atlas Improv Co., in Madison.

Atlas just celebrated its 10th anniversary, and it's marking the occasion with a 10-hour improv marathon. It's called PhatCamp.

And here's the deal, Atlas is looking for improv groups to help fill the hours and join in the phun at PhatCamp. 

From an email from Kristina, at Atlas:

"We'll have slots available from 4 pm, March 29th to 2 am, March 30th. We're looking to fill at least eight 25 minute sets throughout the 10 hours with improv (strictly improv)."

The deadline for submitting an application is 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 12. Click here for the application.

And even if you don't perform, the shows are free (Although, they wouldn't mind a $5 donation). Learn more about it here. 

Nostalgic relief

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing people saying they're tired of winter. 

Quit complaining, I say. If you don't like the weather, do something about it.

Like enjoying a live comedy event. Especially a nostalgic comedy. What could be more comforting?

That's the whole idea behind Retro Comedy Night. Some of Milwaukee's funniest performers stage an episode of one of the TV sitcoms you watched while you were growing up. Word for word. We can't tell you which nostalgic TV show it's going to be. It's a surprise to the audience. But you can warm yourself in the assurance that it's going to be hilarious. And the nostalgic factor will help you remember winters that were much more severe – when you had to walk to school amid drifting mountains snow uphill both ways.

The next Retro show is at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 8, in the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.  

From Facebook: 

"An all new Retro Comedy Night will feature not only a classic retro sitcom performed live on stage, but also live stand up from Patrick Tomlinson! 

Presale is $10 online and $15 at the door. 

Shows do sell out. Get your tickets now before it's too late!"

Click here for online tickets.

Craft Laughter

Two short nights after Mardi Gras, on Thursday, March 6, you're invited to imbibe in some free laughter courtesy of the Brew Ha Ha comedy show.

From Facebook:

"It's a comedy show that cures what 'Ales' you!"

Because it's at the Big Head Brewing Co. That's why. It's at 6204 W. State St.

Eric Thorson is your host. And there's craft beer to accompany the laughter. It starts at 7:30 p.m. And it's free.

Long Story Short!

Maybe it'll be a bit like watching sausage being made – only funnier.

Milwaukee Comedy is beginning a new series that lets you peek into the personal lives of top comedy talent in the area. The show is called "Long Story Short!," and it involves local funny people presenting personal narratives on themed topics.

The inaugural Long Story Short! is at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 6, "Romance at Its Best: Stories about the success and failures of love and romance."

Comedians scheduled for the first Long Story Short! include:

  • Ryan Lowe
  • Erik Koconis
  • Jeff Lampton
  • Nick Hart and
  • Greg Bach

Tickets are $5 at the door. 

Long Story Short! will be staged at the Arcade Theatre, part of the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.

Milwaukee Comedy also recently opened its application process for the 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival, which runs Aug. 7-10. Click here for details.

Rilin' Mason

Ryan Mason had a meteoric rise as a standup comedian in the Milwaukee area through the Caste of Killers Comedy Collective

Now, he's moving on down Interstate 94 to Madison.

So, he's giving his fellow comedians occasion to roast him before he goes.

And that's just what they'll be doing at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Art Bar in Riverwest, 722 E. Burleigh St. It's the Caste's twice-a-month open mic at the Art Bar anyway, but this night, they're focusing their jokes on Ryan.

From Facebook:

"If you know Milwaukee comedian Ryan Mason then you have no doubt heard that he will soon be leaving us to go split sides in Madison. While we have nothing but love for Ryan we will be combining this week's open mic with an opportunity to let Ryan know what you really think about him or his questionable fashion choices."

Admission is free. Anyone interested in performing should arrive at 8:30 to sign up.

Before the roast

Performers also should note the opportunity to warm up for the Ryan Mason roast (And can't we all use a warm-up?): 

Comedy at the Curve is an open mic that starts at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Curve Bar, 1634 N. Water St. Signup there begins at 7 p.m. Admission there also is free.

Judging from Facebook, you'll see some of the same comedians at both events. It's a Milwaukee comedy bar-hopping dream-come-true.

Click here to see our interview with Ryan Mason at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival last August.

Performers can now submit to participate in the 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival. Click here for details.

Ex Fabula winter break

Although it's not necessarily a comedy event, there's guaranteed humor somewhere in the evening when you ask a room full of people to stand up and share stories with strangers. Perhaps especially when drinks are being served.

The next Ex Fabula story slam is at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, at Milwaukee's Hot Water Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St.

Volunteer storytellers are picked from a hat to tell a true five-minute personal story before the audience, which usually is a packed house. The March Ex Fabula requires storytellers to relate to the theme "Off the Hook." Each month, the audience picks its favorite of nine storytellers to advance to a best-of show in May.

Starting five years ago at the Art Bar in Riverwest, Ex Fabula has burgeoned into a monthly habit for many Milwaukeeans. It has a podcast, a weekly radio show (Fridays at noon on WMSE-91.7 FM), storytelling workshops and recently a full-time executive director, Megan McGee. (You know Megan from broadminded Comedy.)

From Facebook:

"Had enough of snow, ice, and wind chills? We think it’s time to let winter off the hook."

Get it? "Off the Hook" is the theme of the next Ex Fabula. Pay attention. 

The doors open at 6:30 so you can get a decent seat and settle in with your beverage. Storytellers are encouraged to arrive by 7 to make sure they get their names in the hat. Tickets are $7, but Ex Fabula memberships are available, too.

College comedy - Laughing Stock

Milwaukee comedy wouldn't be what it is without the energy and talent contributed by Milwaukee college students. Whether it's University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students performing at ComedySportz or Sketch 22 or the Retro Comedy Show or Marquette University's upstart 33rd & State sketch troupe, local colleges furnish creative forces to the comedy community. Many of the seasoned Milwaukee comedy veterans got their starts as college students.

So here's a chance to see some of that youthful energy and talent and creativity on display: 

UWM is performing "Laughing Stock," March 5-9, on the Mainstage Theaterat the Peck School of the Arts, 2400 E. Kenwood Boulevard. From the website:

"Follow the company at The Playhouse, a struggling New England summer-stock theatre, as they desperately try to produce a successful season of Dracula, Hamlet, and Charley’s Aunt! This hilarious farce is a heartfelt look into the world of theatre and its quirky cast of characters."

General admission is $17

Click here for more information.

Homegrown Up (and moving on)

Looks like the end of the ride for the Homegrown Electric Circus. The Milwaukee-based improv group is inviting fans to what’s being hailed as Homegrown’s last show.

It all began in the apartment of Josh Barto four years ago. Now, Josh, Scott Heaton, Mike Walker and Evan Koepnick are performing their swan song on the stage where Homegrown entertained its first audience, at the Alchemist Theatre, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

From Facebook:

“After four years, multiple special guests, and only one fatality (which we’ve done a really good job of not mentioning until now) Homegrown Electric Circus is calling it a day.”

The show starts and Homegrown ends at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 7. Admission is $5 cash at the door.

More from Facebook:

“There’ll be improv! There’ll be surprise guests! There’ll be tears! Seriously there’s no way we’re making it through the night dry eyed. I know we’re comedians, but we do have some feelings left. Jeez! What are you, some kind of robot?”

Homegrown even says you can bring your yearbook, and they’ll sign it. It’s going to be one of those kinds of farewells.

Variety Happy Goodnight

How about a long night of comedy to end the shortest month of the year!

The Arcade Theatre, in the Underground Collaborative, the home of Milwaukee Comedy, has two stellar end-of-the-month shows back-to-back on Friday, Feb. 28.

Variety Hour Happy Hour

Just as it sounds, this 60-minute show has a little bit of everything. As we learn on Facebook, this

"…extravaganza features plenty of laughs, bringing Milwaukee's best talent together in one show. Live music from house band Brian Bayer, special guest interviews, game-shows with fabulous prizes, and sketch comedy…"

It all starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information, and to secure $10 tickets ($15 at the door), please click here.  

Goodnight Milwaukee

At 9:30 p.m., Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz perform as competing late-night talk show hosts collaborating on a combined program – telling jokes, playing games and interviewing guests. And if that seems like a similar description to the Variety Hour Happy Hour, then you haven't seen both to know the difference.

Seating begins at 9 p.m., so if you go to the Variety Hour, don't go far. Arrange your $10 tickets in advance by clicking here. Or pay $12 at the door – and take a chance it's not already sold out. 

  • Tickets Tickets Buy Tickets for upcoming Milwaukee Comedy Events!
  • The Comedy Arcade The Comedy Arcade Milwaukee’s new, collaborative comedy showcase featuring. A little of everything for every comedy enthusiast!
  • 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!
  • Featured Comedy Featured Comedy There are plenty of high-quality comedy shows and performers. Here are our favorites!

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