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Notable comics performing in Tampa Bay area

Special to the Times

Special to the Times

Comedy fans have lots of choices this weekend. Two comics who made Punchline magazine's list of the top five DVDs in 2008 — Brian Regan, left, and Bill Burr — are making a swing through the Tampa Bay area, as are MTV's Ryan Stout and prankster Jim Florentine.

Regan, who honed his act at comedy clubs in Tampa, St. Pete Beach and Clearwater, is a college favorite who regularly charts at the top of iTunes comedy albums. He tours constantly, which makes him a rarity: a comedian without a sitcom or a film who can fill a big theater. Comedy Central has marked him as a go-to guy, giving him a deal for two specials, DVDs, a network show and this tour, which arrives at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center on Sunday. Regan earns this attention, as one critic noted, because he "is a master at always presenting original material and not coasting on reframed old jokes and bits."

Tickets are $39.50 for the 7:30 p.m. show on Sunday. (813) 229-7827;

Other offerings for fans in need of a laugh this week:

• Bill Burr is popular among his peers for his sharply honed bits on overpopulation, homophobia, racism and the evil internal dialogue of bad thoughts we never want to admit to. His excellent DVD Why Do I Do This? was hailed by critics as a sophisticated comic triumph. You can see him tonight through Sunday at the Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $18-$20. (813) 864-4000;

• Ryan Stout won the 2005 Boston Comedy Festival and the attention of MTV, which has him lined up for specials and to host shows such as A Shot at Love: The Hangover and MTV's Spring Break 2008. You can see him today through Sunday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Tickets are $10-$16.50 in advance, $2 more day of show. (813) 960-1197;

• Jim Florentine is best known as the voice of some of Crank Yankers' more obnoxious puppet prank callers (belching Bobby Fletcher and Special Ed). But his CD series of pranks, Terrorizing Telemarketers, is a cult favorite. You can see him at 8 p.m. Monday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 N Orient Road, Tampa. $20. (813) 627-7625;

Notable comics performing in Tampa Bay area 01/07/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 3:30am]
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