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 Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Latest Weight-Loss Breakthrough: Swallow a Balloon

Latest Weight-Loss Breakthrough: Swallow a Balloon

Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Health Network is testing an alternative to traditional gastric bypass surgery.
Two Pittsburgh Restaurants Closing; Kings Leaving the Family

Two Pittsburgh Restaurants Closing; Kings Leaving the Family

One of the eateries has been a staple in Bloomfield for more than a half-century.
Who's Carson? Why Does He Have His Own Street?

Who's Carson? Why Does He Have His Own Street?

Some of the names synonymous with Pittsburgh have surprising histories behind them.
Aviary Determined to Have Dwindling Condors Leave the Nest

Aviary Determined to Have Dwindling Condors Leave the Nest

The National aAviary is working to send ’Burgh-born birds back to their natural habitats to boost endangered populations.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh

Our exclusive list of the region's 584 leading physicians across 76 specialities.
Endless Challenges: 48 Remarkable Hours with 8 Pittsburgh Doctors

Endless Challenges: 48 Remarkable Hours with 8 Pittsburgh Doctors

Follow eight physicians over two days as they perform surgeries, consult on end-of-life care, treat accident victims, discuss hospital programs –– and then reset and do it all over again.
The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

Chef Dennis Marron designs a menu of modern-American fare at The Commoner in the downstairs space of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh.
What Inspires Ray Gastil's Careful Plan for Pittsburgh's Future

What Inspires Ray Gastil's Careful Plan for Pittsburgh's Future

How will the city’s new planning director stoke Pittsburgh’s next generation of developments?
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
Latest Weight-Loss Breakthrough: Swallow a Balloon

Latest Weight-Loss Breakthrough: Swallow a Balloon

Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Health Network is testing an alternative to traditional gastric bypass surgery.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
The 'Burghy Mother's Day Gift Guide 2015

The 'Burghy Mother's Day Gift Guide 2015

Plan ahead with this list of 10 locally made must-haves for Mom.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Into the Wild: How to Be a Good Forager

Into the Wild: How to Be a Good Forager

Before picking and consuming foraged items, read up on the basic rules.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Locally Owned Clothing Stores That Sell Locally Made Wares

Best Locally Owned Clothing Stores That Sell Locally Made Wares

Independent boutiques and local designers abound in the 'Burgh. We bring you five of the best.

Comments


Bar Exam: How to Tell A Good Hotel Bar from a Bad One

Bar Exam: How to Tell A Good Hotel Bar from a Bad One

The recently renovated bar and restaurant inside the Sheraton Pittsburgh at Station Square is doing everything right.

Comments


Make This Now: Fudgy, Rich Chocolate Velvet Cake

Make This Now: Fudgy, Rich Chocolate Velvet Cake

Whip up this chocolate cake (with a secret ingredient!) to celebrate spring.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#GottaHaveIt: Chic Wallets Made of Vintage Turkish Rugs

#GottaHaveIt: Chic Wallets Made of Vintage Turkish Rugs

Give your wardrobe a touch of international glam with an Artemis Design Co. wallet made from Turkish Kilim rugs.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Phipps Premieres Its Tropical Forest Congo Exhibit

Phipps Premieres Its Tropical Forest Congo Exhibit

See colorful, rare specimens at this East End institution.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Real Pittsburgh Couples Share Stories Behind Their First Dances

Real Pittsburgh Couples Share Stories Behind Their First Dances

For their wedding-day dances, these 10 couples chose songs ranging from highlights of the queen of pop’s repertoire to British-Invasion classics.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Tour: Admire Downtown's Striking Architecture on May 1

Tour: Admire Downtown's Striking Architecture on May 1

Join the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation next Friday for an hourlong walk focused on downtown's most beautiful structures.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
It's Spring Carnival Time at CMU

It's Spring Carnival Time at CMU

Carnegie Mellon's popular event, running Thursday through Saturday, combines buggies, bots, booths and more.

Comments


Thinking outside the box (score)
Everyone Expects the Penguins to Lose. Perfect.

Everyone Expects the Penguins to Lose. Perfect.

Maybe this is exactly what the team needs –– to win.

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