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!

Allen Edge has character

Allen Edge

Allen Edge is a Milwaukee treasure.

He is a nationally touring comedian, a character actor appearing in such feature films as “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” and “Meet the Browns,” and he calls Milwaukee home.

We’ve seen him participate in Milwaukee open mics and Erik Koconis‘s Comedy Conclave, which tells you:

  1. Allen Edge is a professional who keeps working at his craft.
  2. Allen Edge gives back to the community by involving himself in the development of other performers.

On Sunday, June 15, Allen Edge is running an acting workshop on developing character. From Facebook:

“Get Character in this comprehensive workshop on Character Development for the actor. You’ll explore the foundations of your instrument (you) as well as the techniques of Stanislavski and Meisner. Character development is the foundation of the craft of acting. This workshop is for the seasoned actor as well as the beginner.”

The workshop runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.

It costs $60, and space is limited. Please click here to sign up and more information.


Time for Patrick Schmitz Comedy


You’re familiar with the formula, Tragedy + Time = Comedy.

Well, Patrick Schmitz waited more than four centuries to follow up a Shakespeare classic with a parody that only Patrick Schmitz could do. So, really, it was “Romeo and Juliet” that waited 400 years for Patrick Schmitz.

Either way, we’ve got the Tragedy and the Time. Now, Patrick Schmitz is combining them for the Comedy. “The Comedy of Romeo & Juliet…Kinda Sorta” runs Aug. 21-23 at Milwaukee’s Next Act Theatre.

It includes a dream cast of Milwaukee comedy talent. But it also needs some financial support. Therefore, Patrick Schmitz has organized a Milwaukee comedy fundraiser for 7 p.m., Saturday, May 31, at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St.

The show is pay-what-you-can, aimed at audiences 13 and older and hosts a plethora of Milwaukee comedy performers donating their funniness for the occasion, including:

  • Sketch comedy from broadminded and Sketch Marks
  • Improv from Tall Boys, Busy Bar and Lights, Cameras, Improv
  • Stand-up from Erik Koconis and Rich Laguna
  • Raffles
  • Readings from the parody
  • And an open improv jam at the end

Going back to that formula, it would be a Tragedy for you if you don’t take the Time to attend this Comedy fundraiser.


Comedic Release, another free CD

A once-in-a-lifetime event: Eight hand-picked intrepid women and men of Milwaukee. Each singularly adept at telling stories and joking into microphones. One by one, they shall stand before a live audience and submit their comedic powers to the unforgiving scrutiny of advanced recording technology. Together, they are destined to forge a permanent record of their individual performances. And it shall be called:

Comedic Release Vol. 2.

At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 31, eight comedians will perform a show at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level (thus, Underground!). And the show will be recorded and released free to audience members as an honest-to-goodness CD, including the eight-minute comedic stylings of each of the Milwaukee comedy artists.

Comedic Release Vol. 2 follows the success of the sold-out pilot show, Jan. 31. Entertainers for the sequel include:

  • Greg Bach, your host
  • Josh Ballew
  • Liza Marie
  • Mario Robinson
  • Eric Thorson
  • Allison Dunne
  • Jason Hillman and
  • Shawn Shelnutt

In other words, if you saw the first Comedic Release, you’re not seeing any repeats.

Tickets are $10 at the door and $8 online.

Milwaukee comedy gets sketchier

This time last year, pretty much the only sketch comedy in Milwaukee were two tried-and-true favorites: The all-female broadminded Comedy, begun in 2006; and Patrick Schmitz’s semi-annual crowdsourced Sketch 22, which celebrated a birthday this week and is gearing up for its 13th show July 19.

The Comedy Hour Happy Hour was just starting up back a year ago. So was Crouch Comedy.

Since then, we’ve had the additions of the Good Night Milwaukee Show with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz, which had another raucous performance this past weekend.

The latest addition to the Milwaukee sketch comedy continuum is Sketch Marks. Conceived by veteran comedy performers volunteering at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival last summer and encouraged by fest founder Matt Kemple, Sketch Marks had such a successful sold-out debut in March that they have created an all-new one-time show they’re performing this Thursday, May 22.

Including individuals you’d recognize from ComedySportz, The Improvised Musical (T.I.M.), Bye Bye Liver, The Dinner Detective, Tall Boys and Racine’s Over Our Heads Players, members of the Sketch Marks even played roles in recent productions from Comedy Hour, the Retro Comedy Night and Goodnight Milwaukee.

The new Sketch Marks show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Arcade Theatre, 161 Wisconsin Ave., lower level. Tickets are $10 at the door but just $7 online. (click here)


Ryan Lowe reels in more comedy

From the ingenious mind of Ryan Lowe comes another form of comedy – Stand-Up Cinema.

As he did last month, Ryan Lowe is bringing together some of Milwaukee's funniest talent and showing them alongside a classic movie – this time, it's Back to the Future – for a mult-dimensional performance that combines the silver screen, standup, improv, sketch and video comedy.

From the web;

This is a cinematic experience unlike anything in the history of ever.  We take your favorite movies and show them to you in a way they were never meant to be seen.  Ryan Lowe has assembled a team of the very best stand-up and improv comedians and given them complete license to "enhance" a classic movie that was perfectly fine to begin with.

Expect the unexpected as we provide live commentary during the film, replace movie scenes with live-action substitutes, and even insert pre-taped segments into the film, itself!  There will be contests, special guests, audience participation and more. 

The shows are at 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday, May 15 and 16, at the Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet St., Tickets are $10 and available by clicking here and then selecting the date you want.

As long as you have read this far, see Tyler Maas's craftily written article about Ryan Lowe in Milwaukee Magazine.

Laugh your brains out

Final exams taking their toll on you? Too stressed out by all the political conflict, the NFL draft, the TV sweeps period? All those nasty weather fronts been giving you migraines?

Consider the benefits of meditation. And then, take the shortcut: Laugh.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, brain scientists have found that a good laugh has similar to expert meditation. From the article:

"The research was presented in San Diego this week by Dr. Lee Berk, a psychosomatic medicine specialist at Loma Linda University's School of Medicine. Berk told the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's 2014 meeting that, for 31 university students whose scalps were rigged up with listening electrodes while they watched videos either distressing or comical, unfettered laughter was the thing that brought their brain waves most consistently into a mock-meditative state."

So, with your mental health in mind, Milwaukee's Arcade Theatre is presenting not one but two comedy shows Saturday night, May 17.

7:30 p.m., Retro Comedy Night

Retro Comedy Night

One of your favorite TV sitcoms will be performed live by some of Milwaukee's funniest actors. From Facebook:

"This month's show features Stand Up from Sammy Arechar and a classic sitcom episode performed live on stage by Amanda Carson, Gretchen Mahkorn, Jared Stepp, Marcus Beyer, Jacob Woelfel, Kelsey Whitford, Erik Koconis, Vince Figueroa, Liz Whitford and Amanda Eaton!"

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

8:30 p.m., The Goodnight Milwaukee Show with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz

From Facebook:

"The Goodnight Milwaukee Show is a Milwaukee centric variety show that mixes local humor with the traditional talk show template. Join Jake and Tyler as they interview crazy guests, play super-fun games, and tell jokes, lots of jokes! "

Tickets are $12 at the door; $10 online.

Both shows are at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. It doesn't take a brain scientist to find it. It's downstairs from TJ Maxx.

goodnight Milwaukee

Time for T.I.M.

It's the third week of May, which means Thursday is another T.I.M. (The Improvised Musical) show. Because T.I.M. plays the third Thursday of every month. That's why.

At T.I.M., for only $5 cash, Milwaukee gets to experience a Broadway-style musical complete with singing, dancing and a six-piece band. It's all live. And it's all made up before your very eyes (and ears and whatever other sensors you care to engage). T.I.M. is a musical that's improvised. 

And you can eat and drink during T.I.M. because the ComedySportz Howie's Restaurant is open during the hour-long performance.

Because it's improvised, you never know what you'll be seeing at T.I.M., but after nearly three years of shows, latecomers have had a harder time of finding a seat, if that tells you anything.

The next T.I.M. is at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 15, at 420 S. 1st St.

To reserve a ticket, please call Mary at (414) 272-8888 weekdays.

Sarah Gallagher comes to Comedy Arcade

A fan favorite at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, standup Sarah Gallagher returns from Chicago to grace the intimate confines of the Arcade Theatre on Friday, May 9.

Sarah Gallagher will be headlining the Comedy Arcade Show, hosted by Steve Breese of Say Cheese Comedy, and also featuring Ramie Mahklouf. As for Sarah Gallagher, she is outrageous. Watch the video above to catch her act in last year's Milwaukee Comedy Fest. And you can follow her hilarity on Twitter @EffingGallagher.

Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. The Arcade Theatre is 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.

Speaking of the Comedy Fest, the 9th annual is coming quickly: Aug. 7-10 at Next Act Theatre.


Introducing the Milwaukee Comedy Podcast!


Say hello to the all new Milwaukee Comedy Podcast! We won't actually hear you say hello, but, c'mon, it's fun!

In our very first episode (Yippie!) Host Greg Bach interviews Founder and Producer of Milwaukee Comedy and the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, Matt Kemple. Check it out and finally get the answer to hard hitting questions like "What is there to do in the Grand Ave Mall" and "Milwaukee?"

We gotta say thanks to the brains and brawn of the podcast: comedian Greg Bach! Sorry Greg, it took us a few extra days to get the podcast up, (we hope you went to all the shows he plugged) check out for his upcoming comedy shenanigans!

Episode 1: Greg interviews Producer and Personality Matt Kemple!

A Great, Plain Example of the Sense of Success

It’s simple. Do what you love because you love doing it.  Keep doing what you love, even if you’re not making money or gaining fame.  The simple desire to pursue something based on passion and enjoyment can lead you to greater places, but it will always make you feel greater no matter where you end up. 

Kyle Kinane is doing what he enjoys and he’s made his enjoyment into a job. Comedy is a profession of passion because many of the individuals pursuing a career in entertainment will continue to absorb any opportunity—regardless of where it may take someone. It’s better to focus on building the quality of your efforts rather than worrying about success. The reality of success is achieving happiness—and if greater opportunities come forth, well, that’s cool too.

This is exactly how Milwaukee Comedy was created and why it continues to exist today. We’re devoted to create a community for comedians and comedy lovers to connect and share a similar passion for comedy. Our interview with Kyle was definitely a refreshing reminder of where we began; where we are; and where we’re going! 

Milwaukee Comedy: You’re a comedian that rolls off the tongue of many comedy fans and aspiring young comedians. Lots of people follow your career closely, but what do you do when you’re not on stage? Enjoying an active lifestyle helps generate more to talk about on stage—what are things you’ve done to maintain your creative process?

Kyle Kinane: Oof, the creative process. I don't know what that is. I just try to say "yes" to as many things as possible. It's not a creative process as much as it's just a more interesting way to live life. And if the byproduct happens to be some new material, then that works out. But I don't try to do stuff just for material. I think that cheapens the experience. I try to have the experience for the sake of enrichment, and then worry later if it can work on stage.

(MC): I’ve read you studied creative writing in college. Who are some of your favorite writers? Do you notice any influence they may have on your style of comedy?

(KK): My favorite writer is Poe Ballantine. I don't know if he's influenced my comedy, but his nonfiction writing isn't of any epic tale–just a guy wandering through a mundane existence but communicating his feelings on in beautiful. So I guess that's the influence–any random day can be beautiful, or comedic, or emotional.

(MC): When you’re working on your new material how do you typically go about creating it? Do you write it out; walk around and go other it in your head? Talk to strangers?

(KK): I just take the idea on the stage, ramble around with it, and try to remember which parts people laugh at.

(MC): How much of your off stage time goes into pushing your comedy career to the next level? How would you explain and define the balance between creating new content and the business aspects of comedy?

Kyle Kinkane(KK): Standup is my job. Everything else (voice over, writing, etc) is a bonus side job that came from comedy. But standup brought me to this dance, so that's what I'll fret over more than anything else. The only way I really try to push my "career" is to be as good as I can at standup. I don't stress the business stuff too much. I have agents and managers and various handlers who all get a cut of my income. So it's their business to worry about that stuff. 

(MC): You’re currently on The Great, Plain Tour working some clubs and bars…these short road tours are growing in popularity; they resemble van tours local bands would book. Can you tell us a little bit about this current tour and the influence behind it?

(KK)—The past few years I've been doing driving tours. All the bands I admired did it this way. And I wanted to start playing venues other than just comedy clubs.

(MC): What do you think of the current state of comedy in our culture? Do you think it’s become an art form that more people try to relate with similar to music?

(KK): Bearded white dudes talking about midnight pizza will soon become the rolled up blazer sleeves talking about the in-laws. I see the dirt coming down on my casket soon. But there's still a bunch of people who are doing standup because they want to be good at standup. As long as that's going on, it won't go away.

(MC): You’re originally from Chicago—did you venture into Milwaukee for comedy when you lived in Illinois? Is there anything you are particularly excited to visit or experience when you’re back in Milwaukee?

(KK): I'd been up there once or twice for comedy, yes. I'm sure it's touristy and old hat for the locals, but I always enjoy the Safe House.

(MC): When you decided to head to a bigger comedy market how did you make that decision? Did you plan it out or just go for it with whatever means you had at the time?

(KK): I didn't decide. I just do the jokes. If enough people like the jokes that I need to move to a bigger venue, cool. But I don't seek it out. It's quality control. I just try and to the best job I can and let the market dictate the next move.

(MC): Most people would classify comedy as an unconventional career choice…can you reflect on your experiences of letting people know you were pursuing a career in comedy?

(KK): I was never pursuing it. It was the thing I was going to do, no matter what, because it kept me from sinking into suburban Midwest depression. If I got money from it—great. If I didn't, fine. This has gone farther than I could've ever imagined.

(MC): And for the last, and most typical questions—what sort of advice would you offer a new comedian looking for some advice? Also, what was a piece of advice you received that helped you early in your career?

(KK): When people ask, all I ask is "Do you love standup enough to do it for free forever?" That's it. Because that's what's going to happen. You're going to do it for free for a long time. It's not a career. It's an obsession with a puzzle that can never be completed.

Kyle Kinane will be performing at Shank Hall on Tuesday May 6th at 8pm! Get your tickets right here for The Great, Plain Tour as it makes a stop through the Cream City!

This show will also have local support from comedian and producer of The Goodnight Milwaukee Show–Jake Kornely!

  • 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!