The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny

Sinbad, Hawk and Wayne and Brokenmold are among the highlights this week.

Posted by Michael Murillo on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 4:36 PM

80S ICON: Sinbad visits Clearwaters recently remodeled Capitol Theatre Saturday night.
  • '80S ICON: Sinbad visits Clearwater's recently remodeled Capitol Theatre Saturday night.
This week the Bay area will host some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy...and a few people you've never heard of before. Whether you're paying a lot of money or catching a free show, there are plenty of laughs to be had before Christmas.

Here are the best bets for this week:


Sinbad at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Sinbad might be the other comedian performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall this week, but don't discount the 25-year comedy vet. He's been making audiences laugh on television and comedy club stages since before some current stars were even talking. His animated stage presence and considerable experience draws crowds around the country.
Showtime is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Info: or 727-791-7400.

Comedy Clubs:

Paul Mecurio at Tampa Improv. A regular on political talk shows and cable news channels, Mecurio delivers intelligent observations with a funny twist. Fans of lowbrow humor might be disappointed, but those who want some thought behind their comedy will have fun this weekend.
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. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: or 813-864-4000.

Steve Byrne at Side Splitters. Known for his hit TBS show Sullivan & Son, Byrne is also has a long resume of comedy specials and television and radio appearances. Byrne touches on his Asian heritage in his act, but delivers a wide variety of material with a confident style and a touch of self-deprecation.
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 Highway, Tampa. Info: or 813-960-1197.

Jack Wilhite at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Wilhite isn't just a musical comedy act. He's armed with props, wigs and costumes designed to reinvent your favorite artists with parodies of their most famous songs. If you're looking for a standard mic-and-comedian act, this isn't it. But music fans should enjoy the mix of hits and humor.
Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: or 727-938-2027.

Chris Gorges at Coconuts Comedy Club (St. Pete Beach). Gorges is in constant motion on stage, going from set material to stream-of-conscious monologues in the blink of an eye. But since he's a long-time comedy vet, odds are you'll be out of breath before he will.
Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort, St. Pete Beach. Info: or 727-360-5653.

Joe Beddia (as George Carlin) at Jack's Joint. Beddia is a man of many voices, but on this night he'll be performing a tribute to legendary comedian George Carlin. Considering Carlin's been dead for more than five years, Beddia's use of his material and mannerisms is as close as you'll get to seeing him live.
Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: or 727-741-8014.

One-nighters and Independent Shows

Cowhead Christmas Spectacular with Bert Kreischer at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (free show). The evening includes a screening of Kreischer's latest documentary, followed by a live taping of his podcast with popular radio personality Cowhead as his guest. Cowhead's band Pitbull Toddler closes out the evening. It's not a traditional stand-up comedy show, but it's a variety of entertainment featuring a funny, nationally-known headliner and it's free.
Showtime is Friday at 8:30 p.m. 5223 N. Orient Road, Tampa. Info: or 1-866-502-7529.

4th Annual Holiday Explosion at New World Brewery. This annual charity show features a pair of former Tampa comedians who now work in Los Angeles (event organizer Robby Slowik, pictured, left, and Sandro Iocolano) as well as local talent J.B. Ball, Matt Fernandez and Law Smith. Expect plenty of adult-oriented comedy to benefit Ronald McDonald House and FAAST (Florida Alliance For Assistive Services Technology).
Doors open Thursday at 8 p.m. 1313 E. 8th Ave., Tampa. Info: or 813-248-4969.

Hawk and Wayne’s It’s a Living at the CL Space. Here’s a show for fans of Office Space, The Office or just folks who would prefer to laugh at the American workplace. As audience members offer up suggestions of an office of other work setting, improv-isarios Gavin Hawk and Ricky Wayne will take you through an unscripted, improvised stream of consciousness — a show they perform the first Sunday of the month at American Stage. Equipped with bizarre employees, workplace politics, witty corporate shenanigans and a touch surrealism, the show offers laughs for just about everyone who’s trying to make a living. $8 suggested at door. Showtime is 8 p.m., Sat., Dec. 21, 1911 N 13th St Suite W200, Ybor City (above the Spaghetti Warehouse). (Text contributed by Julie Garisto)

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