Some funny things are popping up this spring — lots of big-name comics are coming to town, and ticket prices are climbing. This weekend brings two TV actors returning to their stand-up roots, Howie Mandel (Deal or No Deal) and Kevin Nealon (Weeds), and down the road we have Jerry Seinfeld, Denis Leary, Robin Williams, Kathy Griffin and Flight of the Conchords. The recession may have people looking for a reason to laugh, but some of these folks haven't gotten the memo that money is tight. (Seriously, Denis Leary tickets for $126? No joke: The price range on that show is $56 to $126 for the star of Rescue Me.) For fans of alternative comedy, there are also some popular edge-pushers hitting Tampa Bay. The sketch comedy group The Whitest Kids U Know turns tasteless and wrong into an art form at an Improv show in March. The New Zealand folk comedy duo Flight of the Conchords will wrap up their second season on HBO and kick off a nationwide tour at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in April. And Louis C.K. is to the two-drink minimum comedy clubs what punk rock is to lounge lizards. Here's what else is upcoming:
Howie Mandel, below, 8 p.m. Fri. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$49.50. rutheckerdhall.com.
Kevin Nealon 8 and 10:30 p.m. Fri., 7:30 and 10 p.m. Sat. Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $25. tampaimprov.com.
Jerry Seinfeld, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 26-27. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S St. Petersburg. $47-$77. mahaffeytheater.com.
Ralphie May March 5-8 at Side Splitters Comedy Club in Carrollwood. $20-$27. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
Jeff Foxworthy March 6 at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. $35. flstrawberryfestival.com
Robin Williams March 7 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. $45-$85. ticketmaster.com.
The Whitest Kids U Know March 8 at the Improv. $14. tampaimprov.com.
Gallagher, March 9 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. $20. seminolehardrocktampa.com.
George Lopez, right, March 13 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. $49.50-$59.50. tbpac.org.
Louis C.K. March 19 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. $32.50-$35. tbpac.org.
Artie Lange March 20 at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $45-$55. rutheckerdhall.com.
Kathy Griffin Two shows March 21 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $49.50-$100. rutheckerdhall.com.
Paula Poundstone March 28 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. $25.50 to $35.50. tbpac.org.
Flight of the Conchords With Kristen Schaal. April 6 at TBPAC. $38.50. tbpac.org.
David Sedaris April 18 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. 35 to $62.50. tbpac.org.
Denis Leary and The Rescue Me Comedy Tour With Lenny Clarke, Adam Ferrara and the Enablers featuring the Rehab Horns. April 21 at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $56-$126. rutheckerdhall.com.
Larry Miller May 15-16 at Side Splitters Comedy Club. $20-$27. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
Christopher Titus May 29-31 at Side Splitters Comedy Club. $20-$27. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne [email protected]