The Very Best of Stand-Up and Sketch Comedy in the United States April 24, 2023 to April 30, 2023

Greer Barnes

Aaron Berg, Monday, April 24, 2023

Aaron Berg

Starting your week in stand-up comedy is one Aaron Berg, a jacked-up muscle-bound, wiseass stand-up comedian who un-bulks-up long enough to pen several books (Mr. Manners, American Etiquette), craft weirdly witty stand-up comedy albums such as Unscripted and Comedy Coltrane (impressed am I that Berg either digs jazz or likes the complexity of what the name ‘Coltrane’ stands for) and make the podcast and Sirius XM rounds. Plus, he spent time on the Hulu streaming network’s late, great oddity, 24 Hour Rental. Respect.

New York Comedy Club, Midtown, 241 East 24th Street, New York, NY 10010

Greer Barnes, Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Here’s one who got away. The last time that I was supposed to interview South Bronx-born and Upper West Side-raised NYC stand-up comedian Greer Barnes, he suddenly cancelled his engagement for another winning opportunity (you can’t blame a man for succeeding, unless it was just me he didn’t feel like talking to) and our conversation never happened. Shame, that, but it looks as if he is back in action, he being, what fellow stand-up comics call, “a comedian’s comedian,” and one capable of hardcore originality. Along with having stand-up comedy giant Bill Burr say of Barnes on his Monday Morning Podcast that, “I always feel when I go onstage after [Barnes]. I literally feel the disappointment from the crowd,” roast comic boss Dave Attell once told Louis C.K. on an episode of FX’s Louie that he could not and would not follow Greer Barnes. Between those accolades and his 2014 stand-up album See What I’m Saying rising on the iTunes Comedy Charts, let’s hope that no one can follow him, Barnes is so funny. And that he finally talks to me this time around.

The Comedy Cellar Rio, 3700 W Flamingo Road, Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89103-4043

Rory Scovel has dodgy Friends, Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Rory Scoval

The unbuttered toast of Greenville, South Carolina, raw Rory Scovel has always been, to quote my favorite ever noir drama, The Sweet Smell of Success, a cookie full of arsenic. A handful of stand-up comedy albums and specials under his belt, a writing credit for the comedy series The Eric Andre Show, and a role in n the Apple TV+ series Physical, who knows what friends of Scovel will appear at Los Angeles’ Largo this Wednesday. If they’re as dodgy as the headliner, this night is going to get skanky, and fast.

Largo at the Coronet, 366 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90048

Tony Woods, Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Woods is one of the original old school masters of the Def Comedy Jam on HBO (before the Max) AND the Bad Boys of Comedy from P. Diddy Enterprises before the Puff. But make no mistake – Tony is not stuck in the OG past. Tony is cool, playful and as fresh as trap beat driven hip hop.

The Comedy Loft of DC, 1523 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037

Michael Rapaport, “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast,” Thursday, April 27, 2023

Michael Rapaport

Is Michael Rapaport – a New York accented actor famous for roles in 90s films from Spike Lee and Woody Allen who became a stand-up comedian and podcaster in the 2000s –  a loud mouth? You bet. Opinionated, often controversial, Rapaport also has a decidedly old school Bronx hip hop lean, considering too that he was the director and producer behind the award-winning documentary “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.” Enjoy the volume.

Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Maz Jobrani, Friday, April 28, 2023

Maz Jobrani

Maz Jobrani is so in your face that as the Tehran, Iranian-born comedian, author and actor, he named his Showtime stand-up special I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One of TV. Brilliant. Along with being a recognizable voice on the stand-up stage and a founding member of The Axis of Evil touring outfit, his most memorable acting bits came during the Mel Brooks/Larry David on Broadway season of Curb Your Enthusiasm – not a place for timid improvisational performers.

San Jose Improv, 62 South 2nd Street, San Jose, CA 95113-2501

Liza Treyger, Saturday, April 29, 2023

Liza Treyger

Impressionistic and experimental, stand-up comedian Liza Treyger does not come quietly. Along with hosting and producing her own mad, bad podcast Enemies and co-hosting That’s Messed Up, hers was the other recognizable turn in Pete Davidson and Judd Apatow’s semi-autobiographical flick King of Staten Island.

Punch Line San Francisco, 444 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

Karen Mills, Sunday, April 30, 2023

You wouldn’t exactly call longtime touring stand-up comedian Karen Mills wholesome or family oriented. And yet, she works clean enough to appear often on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry and NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Either way, Mills’ comedy is blunt, wise and observational without the muss and fuss of correctness or nervous millennial panic.

The Comedy Catch, 29 Station Street, Chattanooga, TN 37408

    • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

      A.D. Amorosi is an award-winning journalist who, along with working for the Philadelphia Weekly, writes regularly for Variety, Jazz Times, Flood and Wax Poetics, and hosts and co-produces his own SoundCloud-charting radio show, Theater in the Round for Pacifica National Public Radio station WPPM 106.5 FM and WPPM.org.

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