The event organizers of the highly anticipated South Beach Comedy Festival spent this past week at the Miami Improv, hosting a talent search for a local act to host a performance and possibly grace the stage at the Lincoln Theatre or Colony Theater. Talk about stage fright: The prospect of even being seen by any of the comedic luminaries scheduled to perform at this years fest would give the most seasoned veteran sweaty palms. Every year the South Beach Comedy Festival has gotten better. With a host of former sitcom stars and politically provocative comedy cult leaders stacking the deck, its difficult to see how they can possibly top the 2007 roster.
The festival kicks off tonight with three vastly different events that will make it tough for laugh-a-palooza fans to choose which venue to line up at. Fans of hair metal will want to make a beeline for the Jackie Gleason Theater (1700 Washington Ave., Miami). Andrew Dice Clay will take the stage at 8:00 p.m., delighting the crowd with the kind of misogynistic nursery rhymes that won him a cult following (and numerous HBO specials) in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Hickory dickory dock ... the joke almost writes itself. Tickets range from $36.50 to $42.50.
Over at the Lincoln Theatre (541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), three up-and-coming comedians will tickle funny bones with jokes that definitely arent aimed at an all-ages crowd. Spike-haired Greg Giraldo is a familiar face to fans of Comedy Centrals roasts. He also had his own show, Stand-Up Nation with Greg Giraldo, in which his affable style made him a genial host. Mike Birbiglia might look like your next-door neighbors rambunctious little brother, but his humor found an enthusiastic fan in David Letterman, who made the baby-face comedian one of the youngest to perform on the late-night talk show. Robert Schimmel is the curmudgeonly veteran of the trio, a sardonic, sex-obsessed yukster who has won approval from fans of his regular appearances on the Howard Stern Show. Hes dirty enough to turn your ears red and will most certainly bring the houselights down with howls of depraved laughter. Tickets cost $42.
Folks who have always wanted to participate in creating a real, live laugh track will get their chance when Christopher Titus tapes his Comedy Central special at the Colony Theater. The lanky blond comic is famous for poking fun at his ridiculously dysfunctional family, and fans can sign up for free tickets to his live tapings at www.southbeachcomedyfestival.com.
The festival only gets better as it continues. Raul Gonzales, Hal Sparks, Mike Epps, Artie Lange, Roseanne Barr, Jim Breuer, Margaret Cho, Bill Maher, and Jon Stewart are among the stand-ups to come. The event begins tonight and runs through January 20, and tickets are going fast.
Wed., Jan. 24