Pack up your rubber chickens and your chattering teeth. People who get paid to make you laugh are lining up for shows this fall around Tampa Bay. They range for the thoughtful (Margaret Cho, Dom Irrera) to the, um, not so much (yes, we're looking at you, Pauly Shore.) • Comedy has even been added to the menu of Snapper's Grill in Palm Harbor, which this weekend starts its new plan to feature comics on Friday and Saturday nights. • Which shows should you check out between now and November? Here are our picks. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, email@example.com
Dom Irrera Called "the King of Clubs" by Comedy Central for his relentless touring schedule, Irrera was discovered and promoted by Rodney Dangerfield in 1988 and has since built a huge IMDB profile of spots on cable specials, sitcoms (Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens) and cartoon voices. He even opened for Cher during one of her many farewell tours. See him Friday and Saturday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $16-$18 advance, $2 additional day of show. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
Pauly Shore Like Larry the Cable Guy and Jamie Kennedy, Shore is one of those comics who gets poo-pooed by critics, but still retains a core audience for his absurdity. See him at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday at the Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 864-4000. tampaimprov.com.
Mike McCarthy This Tampa Bay favorite is the opening act for a whole new club, Snapper's Bar and Grill, 36657 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, which this weekend adds comedy shows to the menu on weekends. Down the road you'll be able to see comics like Dustin "Screech" Diamond (Oct. 10-11) and Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame (Nov. 14-15). McCarthy tickets are $10. (727) 938-2027.
Margaret Cho You might have caught a smaller version of Cho's "Beautiful Tour" in Tampa last year, when Cho was still working on the finer details of her new set on beauty and society's expectations. See her at 8 p.m. Sept 25 at Morsani Hall at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $28.50-$48.50. (813) 229-7827. tbpac.org. Down the road
Bill Bellamy Fresh off hosting the sixth season of Last Comic Standing, the charming actor and comedian is bringing his own stand-up act to the Improv at Centro Ybor from Sept. 26-28. $22. (813) 864-4000. tampaimprov.com.
Steve Harvey One of the Original Kings of Comedy is approaching icon status, between his acting and his hugely popular radio show. Harvey performs Sept. 27 at the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $40.75-$45.75. (813) 301-2500. stpetetimesforum.com.
Lewis Black The last angry comic brings his sense of apoplectic rage to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Oct. 3. $45-$65. tbpac.org.
Joel McHale Snark rules when the host of E!'s The Soup performs at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center on Oct. 4. $31.50-$35. tbpac.org. Kevin Nealon The SNL vet comes to the Tampa Improv on Oct. 10-11. Girly men need not apply. $25. tampaimprov.com.
Hal Sparks The actor has starred on Talk Soup, Queer as Folk and VH1's I Love the (fill in the decade of your choice). Oct. 16-19, Tampa Improv. $16-$20. tampaimprov.com.
Gallagher What did those poor melons ever do to deserve this? Maybe he'll talk about his alma mater, USF. Nov. 22, Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$49. rutheckerdhall.com.
Cheech and Chong Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have reunited for Cheech and Chong Light Up America, their first tour in 25 years. Legally, we cannot encourage you to bring weed. Sept. 28, Carol Morsani Hall at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. $39.50-$59.50. tbpac.org.