This is a good weekend to see experienced comics — with decades of stage experience — as well as up-and-coming performers who are starting their own funny paths. Whether you're looking for comedy vets or newer faces, you have good options this weekend.
Note: Due to the biggest sports event of the year, there are no shows on Sunday. Sorry, comedy fans.
Jackie Mason at Ruth Eckerd Hall. You already know his distinctive voice and the familiar cadence he brings to stories, jokes and pretty much anything he says. On Sunday, he'll bring more than a half-century of stand-up experience to Ruth Eckerd Hall, entertaining anyone who wants to see a guy who's been doing this since the days of the old Borscht Belt and The Ed Sullivan Show. Showtime is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Info: rutheckerdhall.com or 727-791-7400.
John Henton at Tampa Improv. You probably know Henton from Living Single and The Hughleys, but he's had a stand-up career for more than three decades. His smooth, confident approach provides a comfortable setting as he jokes about everyday situations that sometimes get out of hand. Showtimes are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Tommy Blaze at Side Splitters. Blaze has plenty of opinions about men, women, dating and relationships. And he wants you to hear them in the form of well-though-out premises that have audience members nodding their heads in recognition as well as laughing. If this is your date night, make sure your significant other can take a joke. If they can't, leave them at home and come anyway. Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
John Ferrentino at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. If comedy magic is your thing, Snappers has the shows you'll want to see this weekend. Ferrentino is part comedian and part magician, and both parts are good showmen as well. Audience interaction only adds to the laughs. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.
Carl Faulkenberry at Coconuts Comedy Club (St. Pete Beach). Faulkenberry has the demeanor of a normally-relaxed guy sharing his pet peeves with friends. The result is a casual stage presence, a lot of wit and plenty of laughs.
Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort, St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.
One-nighters and Independent Shows
Rahn Hortman at 1933 (free show). Local talent Hortman is actually making rare Tampa area appearances this week: The comedian has been in big demand across the country, opening for big names while also making a name for himself. Clean jokes and a friendly, personal style are on tap at this monthly show. Showtime is Saturday at 9 p.m. 2245 Nursery Road. Info: 727-532-1972.
Rahn Hortman and Catherine Maloney at Oldsmar Tap House (free show). In addition to Hortman (see above), the show includes Maloney, winner of a "Biggest Jerk" contest and a sharp-but-dirty demeanor on stage. She enjoys engaging the crowd, and working off what they choose to share about love, finances and whatever else she can pry out of them. Showtime is Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. 300 State St. E., Oldsmar. Info: 813-475-5996.
Editor's note: CL's Laugh Tract writer Michael Murillo will be the opener at the Rahn Hortman show in Clearwater Saturday night. Stop by and cheer him in on if you're in the area.