Minnesotans will have plenty of opportunities to see top-notch comics in concert for the rest of the year as headliners hop back on the road after the COVID break. But it'll be hard to beat the next two weeks.
The main attraction is Chris Rock, who lands at Mystic Lake Casino June 23-24. But there's plenty to keep you in stitches until then. That's largely because of the Minneapolis Comedy Festival, which is showcasing more than 18 comics over the next week.
Catching all of the acts will cost you a pretty penny — but many are hard to resist. What follows is a navigational guide highlighting the most promising shows.
TikTok fame doesn't usually translate to club success, but Pinky Patel may buck the trend. The Indian-American comic's short sermons on everything from the Met Gala to cooking shows are delightfully frank and bold. She even has the guts to preach with a crown on her head. Whether she can keep audiences engaged for more than a minute at a time is yet to be determined. 7 p.m., The Assembly at Woman's Club, 410 Oak Grove St., Mpls., $30-$50, minneapoliscomedyfestival.com
(Editor's note: Organizers announced Tuesday that this show has been postponed until July 15 because of COVID)
JR De Guzman's ditties like "Asian Guys Can Smash" and "Interracial Baby" may never make the Billboard charts, but they're clever enough to land him a spot on Variety's 10 Comics to Watch list. If you think Adam Sandler is at his best when he straps on a guitar, this is your brand of comedy. 7 p.m., Woman's Club, $40, minneapoliscomedyfestival.com
Steve-O admits he may be getting too old for "Jackass" antics. But he's determined to go out with a bang. For his latest tour, the death-defying performer introduces 10 new videos, each determined to make you squirm in your seat. Those brave enough to stick around until the end are likely to get photos with the highly accommodating star. 7 p.m., Woman's Club, $40-$50, minneapoliscomedyfestival.com
There are lots of comics who report on the single life, but few do it with the same wit and wisdom of Erica Rhodes. Her delivery may be sugary sweet but the material is extra spicy. She's using her four-night stint in town to record her next album. Don't be surprised if you spot uncle Garrison Keillor rooting her on. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat., Acme Comedy Co., 708 N. 1st St., Mpls., $22, acmecomedycompany.com
Dave Chappelle doesn't have any local dates on the docket — and when he does he probably won't give us much advance notice. The next best thing is his buddy Donnell Rawlings, who wound up co-hosting the final episodes of "Chappelle's Show." He's a talented stand-up and actor in his own right with an unfiltered take on the world. 7 p.m., Woman's Club, $35-$45, minneapoliscomedyfestival.com
Take a break from checking out national acts to support local talent. The most enticing showcase this month is "The Wheel of Misfortune," an evening in which comics have to cook up fresh sets based on audience suggestions. It's a chance to see some of our sharpest stand-ups, including Andy Erickson, Tommy Ryman and Emily Galati, think on their feet. 9 p.m., The Terminal Bar, 409 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., $8-$10, eventbrite.com
Hari Kondabolu got a lot of attention for his 2017 documentary, "The Problem With Apu," a scathing indictment of South Asian stereotypes on "The Simpsons." But he's got a lot more on his mind than cartoons. Expect a night of thought-provoking political comedy. 8 p.m., Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., $25, thecedar.org
Fans of "Law & Order: SVU" will want to take a break from binge watching Mariska Hargitay to check out a taping of "That's Messed Up," a podcast in which comedians Liza Treyger and Kara Klenk break down a classic episode, usually with the aid of a special guest. 4 p.m., Woman's Club, $25-$30, minneapoliscomedyfestival.com
It's appropriate that the biggest draw at the Minneapolis Comedy Festival would be one of our own. Duluth native Maria Bamford's offbeat sense of humor and willingness to open up her own mental-health issues has made her a favorite among her peers. See why Judd Apatow has called her the funniest woman on the planet. 7 p.m., Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $35-$45, minneapoliscomedyfestival.com
June 23 and 24
Chris Rock hasn't talked much about The Slap on his latest tour, although that may change by the time he gets to Minnesota. But don't count on it. What you can expect is an evening of side-splitting observations on abortion, the Capitol riot and woke culture from one of the all-time greats. 8 p.m., Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, $99-$249, mysticlake.com
End your comedy marathon with one of the brightest new stars on the circuit. Rosebud Baker, the grandchild of former Secretary of State James Baker, has popped up on Hulu's "Life & Beth" and in the "Saturday Night Live" writers' room. But she's at her best in a club, making dark, twisted observations on her personal life. 7 and 9:30 p.m. June 23-26, House of Comedy, Mall of America, $17-$59.40, moa.houseofcomedy.net