Last Comic Standing, Milwaukee-style
It always seems like forever since the last season of the firefighter drama Rescue Me has aired, since every season finale burns down the house like it was the last show. But despite massive blood loss and heavy drinking, Denis Leary‘s lead character Tommy Gavin seems to have survived and may finally atone.
Expect acerbic fire to roar out of Leary’s mouth as usual; he excels at comically pointing out the nonplussed imbeciles and mass societal stupidities year after year. He may be starting to show his age and sound more like a grumpy old man than a riled-up guy in a house party’s kitchen — but the flames are still hot. The three-alarm starts at 8 p.m. in the Riverside Theater.
On Friday night, there will be dueling comedians on two stages. Aziz Ansari, fresh off some good exposure hosting the MTV Movie Awards, has been a wild talent for years just waiting for a better break. Often playing a cameo second banana in Judd Apatow’s movies and a thankless role on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, it’s his wild, off-the-rails performances on MTV’s Human Giant, Flight of the Conchords and crazy alter-ego ‘Raaaaaaaaaaaaandy’ that earned him cult status in the comedy world. His shows are at 7 & 9:30 p.m. at the Pabst.
Ansari’s show might actually be the funniest, freshest stuff of the lot. By comparison, what exactly is Tracy Morgan going to do? He’s very funny with a fully satiric character on 30 Rock and a few of his characters on Saturday Night Live were okay. He was in “Cop Out.” Umm, what else? Well, show up at the Riverside Theatre Friday at 8 p.m. to find out.
Finally, pour your self a stiff one and check out Zane Lamprey at Turner Hall Ballroom Saturday night. The erstwhile host of the Travel Channel’s four season sensation Three Sheets (exactly as it sounds: visit foreign breweries and distilleries and imbibe) naturally parlayed into a speaking tour that’s really stand-up. Lamprey appears along with Steve McKenna and Marc Ryan.
It would be nice to think that there’s a boon of headliner-level comedy touring Milwaukee in 2010. Aside from the occasional act (Don Rickles plays the Northern Lights stage in July), Brew City won’t see this kind of mirth until November when Chelsea Handler comes to the Milwaukee Theater, Daniel Tosh comes to the Riverside and Last Comic Standing at the Pabst. Then you have to wait until Jim Gaffigan’s annual New Year’s shows. Hot Pockets for all!