I can not-swear funnier than you!
Chris Haughton and local favorite Monte Benjamin keep things clean at The O on Saturday, Oct. 26.
There exist Tucsonans who don’t pay attention to comedy because they don’t like all the swearing and sex. Good for them, I say. Those of us who feel otherwise are unfairly “laughter privileged” in a world where sex, chemically altered states and colorful language dominate comedy culture.
The over-privileged among us have even culture-appropriated Dry Bar comedy. It’s a private streaming service offering high-fidelity videos featuring top-shelf comics like Robert Mac. Ironically, Dry Bar has speakeasy-like access. It involves a membership, but you can buy a pass at Costco.
The O offers up its own clean comedy venture on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. ($5) Surly Wench Comedy’s Roxy Merrari hosts, keeping it clean, and Tucson fans’ favorite Mr. Clean, Monté Benjamin, opens for Chris Haughton. Like many comics trading in clean material, Haughton’s day job is working conventions and events, where the money is great and the content restricted. It’s no mean feat to get a ballroom-full of just-fed convention-goers laughing. It’s worse when they’re actually eating.
Benjamin is like the kicks that walk out of a street fight as clean as they went in. He came up opening for gospel choirs, then went into acting and standup comedy in Florida.
Last Friday Last Laughs: Halloween Edition.
Montê Benjamin, Tucson's Mr. Clean
Hotel McCoy’s free monthly fun fest, Last Friday Last Laugh, features an all too rare set by Tucson comedians’ comedian Charles Ludwig. The rest of the bill is likewise packed with favorites. Nick Chant’s been a hit since first showing up a few months ago at a Surly Wench open mic. Nicole Riesgo was probably born a joker, but she rose out of Tucson Improv Movement standup classes.
OG Tucson comic Aaron Panther has been funny every minute of his comeback from catastrophic injuries. His comedy gets sicker every show. Laughing Liberally Tucson founder Phil Gordon emerges from a hiatus in time for 2020 electioneering. Cami Anderson cohosts Club Congress’ Let’s Talk About Sex Baby. Chris Quinn runs Wednesday open mics at The Screening Room, and Connor Hanna crafts material from his doorman gig at Playground. If you’re a playa, better come make sure his jokes aren’t about you! JK.
Who’s your favorite dead comedian?
Died Laughing: A Halloween Comedy Showcase at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 28. Local comedians karaoke-ize sets by your favorites who’ve gone on to make the angels giggle. Costumes, mannerisms and attitudes perfect the match.
In its second year, the show kicks it up a notch with Phoenix comedian Anwar Newton portraying Patrice O’Neal and Tucson Improv Movement company members Cristin Phibbs and Timmy Bot performing as the show’s first duo team, Abbot and Costello. One-woman-energy-grid Steena Salido plays Gilda Radner. Phoenix comic Leslie Barton plays Joan Rivers. Dominic DiTolla is Robin Williams and Marcus Gallegos is Andy Kaufman. Hosts Roxy Merrari and Amber Frame are Mitch Hedberg and George Carlin respectively.
Tickets are $5 via Eventbrite.com or by Venmo @wenchcomedy. Organizers expect a sellout.
Friday, Oct. 25: Dueling Pianos at 7:30 p.m., Vail Theatre of the Arts, $10 to $30. Standup with co-headliners Pauly Casillas, a hometown favorite, and Bryan Ricci, at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with The Riveters and The Openers at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox at 9 p.m. at Tucson Improv Movement (TIM) ($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. ($5 and $7) and 4th Friday Free Form Friday Fight Night at 9 p.m. (Free) at Unscrewed Theatre.
Saturday, Oct. 26: Standup with co-headliners Pauly Casillas, a hometown favorite, and Bryan Ricci, at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Sketch comedy hour-long Halloween Special with Baby Fish Mouth at 7:30 p.m., followed by improv with The Openers and the Tarot-based show, Seasons Readings, at 9 p.m. at TIM, ($5). Family-friendly improv with NBOJU at 7:30 p.m. followed by Rick & Laura Hall & Friends at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).