This Weekend, a Trio of Comedic Greats

I've come up with a trio of stand-up options for this weekend: Jerry Seinfeld, Donnell Rawlings and four locals at Joey's Hartstown Tavern.

As a stand-up comic, I find myself at a lot of comedy shows. Sometimes performing, sometimes watching, sometimes trying in vain to figure out why some jokes don’t work. It’s a tough thing, comedy; you’re out there alone, relying entirely on the strength of jokes you wrote and your ability to entertain. Fortunately, the uniting factor in most stand-up comics—and all of the good ones—is the love they have for what they do.

A couple of the best things about stand-up are the ease in finding it and how relatively consistent it can be. Sure, seeing a legend is probably going to be more memorable than checking out an up-and-comer at a bar, but you’re going to laugh either way. And I’ve laughed just as hard in smoky little rooms with a dozen people as I have at arenas packed to the rafters.

With that in mind, here’s a trio of stand-up options for this weekend—one for every price point, and all of them are guaranteed to give you a good night.

JERRY SEINFELD AT THE BENEDUM, DOWNTOWN:
For those with some cash to spend, you’ve got to spend it on seeing one of the all-time greats this weekend. Jerry Seinfeld is at the Benedum Center on Saturday for two shows. Comedy may lose a bit of raucousness in a large, refined hall like the Benedum, but the big-show atmosphere (and collective power of 2,000 laughing Pittsburghers) more than makes up for it.

Get dinner beforehand at Six Penn or Bravo Franco, then head over to the Benedum in time to experience the venue’s bizarre, new fan-friendly beer service: served in a Kennywood-style souvenir cup that you can take into the show. Thoughtful—but who drinks beer through a straw?

And, of course, nothing needs to be said to entice you to check out Seinfeld in person; he may go down as the greatest comic of the last several generations. In the years since "Seinfeld" has gone off the air, he’s written all-new material, so don’t expect to get this stuff on TBS reruns. Jerry Seinfeld at the Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., downtown. Sat., 7 and 9:30 p.m. $49.75-$79.75. Info: 412/456-6666, pgharts.org.

DONNELL RAWLINGS AT THE PITTSBURGH IMPROV, WATERFRONT: You can usually have a more casual experience at the Pittsburgh Improv. The lineup of touring comics is reliable and crowd-pleasing, and the classic comedy-club setup makes for an intimate, enjoyable experience. Normally I’d advise against eating during comedy shows—you don’t want a joke to hit you just as you’ve shoved a mouthful of sandwich past your teeth, thus creating the opportunity for a spitting guffaw—but the appetizers here are more than worth it, especially the loaded nachos.

This weekend belongs to Donnell Rawlings, best known for his time as a featured performer on "Chappelle’s Show." Even with a long weekend full of shows, a number of these are likely to sell out, so get your tickets while you still can. Donnell Rawlings at the Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St., Waterfront. Thurs., 8 p.m.; Friday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sat., 7 & 9 p.m. $20. Info: 412/462-5233, improv.com.

FOUR LOCALS AT JOEY'S HARTSTOWN TAVERN, HARTSTOWN:
Finally, one of the strongest local lineups around will take the stage this weekend, but it’s a bit of a drive. Improv regular Aaron Kleiber hosts a show also featuring DVE Morning Show regular Mike Wysocki and seasoned 'Burghers Danny Palumbo and Mitch Mekulsia at Joey’s in Hartsville, Pa., a little less than two hours from downtown in the direction of Meadville.

Kleiber, who you’ve seen in commercials for the likes of Highmark and the Pittsburgh Power as of late, is one of the most likable acts on the local scene, with a loud, energetic style that’s irresistibly funny. If you’re anywhere to the north of town or you feel like a quick road trip, this is a great opportunity to see the best these four have to offer for a song. Aaron Kleiber, Mike Wysocki, Danny Palumbo and Mitch Mekulsia at Joey’s Hartstown Tavern, 7396 Liberty St., Hartstown, Pa. $10. Tickets: 814/382-6966.

The 412

Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

The results of the Gawker poll are in: We’re No. 1.
“Yinzer Goosebumps” Series Parodies the Horrors of 'Burgh Life

“Yinzer Goosebumps” Series Parodies the Horrors of 'Burgh Life

The great Benstonium is at again with this set of faux book covers.
The Great Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery

The Great Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery

Hundreds of protractors have been placed throughout the city. No one seems to know why.
 Newly Opened Battlegrounds Offers More Than Just Airsoft

Newly Opened Battlegrounds Offers More Than Just Airsoft

The Factory Building on Homestead's Eighth Avenue is the site of tournaments and more.

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Your 10 best bets for October.
Made in Pittsburgh

Made in Pittsburgh

The city of steel always has been known for its industry – what we make. Today, that defining characteristic expands beyond manufacturing into every aspect of modern life.
Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Comic-book artist Ed Piskor continues to win critical acclaim and international fame with his “Hip Hop Family Tree” series of graphic novels.
Review: Istanbul Sofra

Review: Istanbul Sofra

Head to Istanbul Sofra, one of Regent Square’s new additions, for assorted lamb dishes, vegetarian starters and well-executed desserts.

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

The results of the Gawker poll are in: We’re No. 1.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
7 Best Rising Star Bartenders

7 Best Rising Star Bartenders

Get to know the city’s next generation of savvy, ambitious ’tenders.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
The Pirates Lost, and Twitter Went to Hell in a French-Fry Basket

The Pirates Lost, and Twitter Went to Hell in a French-Fry Basket

PittGirl recaps what transpired in the local Twittersphere after last night's Wild Card game.

Comments


Award-winning sports commentary by Sean Conboy
R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

Fire Bylsma? Fire Shero? The Penguins' problems run deeper.

Comments


Chip & Kale Will Deliver Homecooked Meals to Your Door

Chip & Kale Will Deliver Homecooked Meals to Your Door

Pittsburgh’s new healthy-food delivery service answers the question of what's for dinner.

Comments


The Warhol's 'Exposed' is the Coolest Thing in Town

The Warhol's 'Exposed' is the Coolest Thing in Town

The one-night-only concert brings legendary musicians to Oakland to perform alongside unseen Warhol films.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Navy is the New Black

Navy is the New Black

Beautiful blue hues pair with intriguing designs to create this sophisticated combo.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest Will Take Over Stage AE Tomorrow

Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest Will Take Over Stage AE Tomorrow

The event will offer ample activities and a variety of pierogi-inspired dishes.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Time to See Ballet Under the Stars

Time to See Ballet Under the Stars

This weekend, the PBT presents its annual production at Hartwood Acres under the night sky.

Comments