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.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.
Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

A proposed route for new electric buses will connect 30,000 people throughout 24 neighborhoods.
Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” a movie based on the best-selling comedic novel, will begin filming in the ‘Burgh next month.
What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

While Bourdain and his crew aren’t talking, they left plenty of hints about what’s likely to be in the Pittsburgh episode of “Parts Unknown.”
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Look for some big changes at the Upper Lawrenceville restaurant, which is expected to shutter for at least a year.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

The North Shore landmark's new ropes course is a draw for adults and youths alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

The desire for more a year ago helped fuel the Penguins’ quest to repeat this season. Should their thirst for yet another Cup prove as unquenchable next season, there’s no limit to what they might yet achieve. Even a Three-peat.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Reviews of "Cars 3" and "47 Meters Down," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

You’ll definitely want to pin these new summer wedding trends to your Pinterest board.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

From a forest of Japanese maples to a rocky urban sanctuary, the annual tour covers 14 very different gardens across the East End.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

On three days this summer, the college will host visit days for prospective students.

Comments