This week, famous faces from television's past and present hit stages in Tampa Bay. There's also comedy hypnosis, puppets and free shows featuring local talent. Whatever genre makes you laugh, it will probably be served up this weekend. Here's what's happening:
Amy Schumer at The Straz (Morsani Hall). Schumer's star is burning bright these days: Her sketch-based show on Comedy Central, Inside Amy Schumer, is a hit. She's graduated from performing in large comedy clubs to successful theater runs. And she's done it without compromising her trademark wit wrapped inside crude, vulgar and otherwise-inappropriate topics. You might not get offended even when she's skewering her subjects with a pleasant smile, but she keeps pushing the envelope anyway. Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m. 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Info: strazcenter.org or 813-229-7827.
Jim Breuer at The Palladium (Hough Hall). As he proved on his stint on Saturday Night Live, Breuer is capable of several credible impressions. He can do Joe Pesci as easily as AC/DC's Brian Johnson. Sometimes they're a springboard for his comedy premises, and sometimes he uses his decades of stand-up experiences to craft jokes for live audiences. Showtime is Sunday at 7:30 p.m. 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Info: mypalladium.org or 727-822-3590.
John Heffron at Tampa Improv. Ten years ago, Heffron won Last Comic Standing. Since then he's toured the country proving why he earned it, making audiences laugh with stories involving family, childhood and other observations.
Showtimes are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Erik Griffin at Side Splitters. Griffin is known for his role in Workaholics on Comedy Central, but on stage he's not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects. He hates political correctness, so bring some thick skin to the show.
Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
Rich Guzzi at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Guzzi is one part stand-up comedian, one part motivational speaker and one part comedy hypnotist. The result is plenty jokes, a lot of confidence and audience volunteers saying and doing unusual things on stage. If you're looking for something beyond the traditional mic-and-stand routine, this is a good option for you. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.
Mike "Mad Dog" Adams at Coconuts (St. Pete Beach). For a guy with the nickname "Mad Dog," Adams doesn't seem very mad at all (he actually got the name from drinking a certain inexpensive wine in his younger days). The musician/comedian seems pretty happy running through a set of jokes and sing-alongs, with the comfortable presence of a guy with decades of stage experience. 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.
Mark James at Jack's Joint. James showcases his comedy ventriloquist talents with colorful characters and witty banter. If you like comedy with puppets — and many do — you have just one show in which to see James this weekend. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: tampabaycomedy.com or 727-741-8014.
One-nighters and Independent Shows
Cigar City Comedy at The Brass Tap (free show). Local comedians Johnny B, John Jacobs, J.B. Ball, Joe Riga, Michael Murillo, Matt Fernandez and John J perform at this open mic-style show, which features performers mixing in new material alongside established premises. Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m. 10019 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: brasstapbeerbar.com or 813-969-2337.