Comedian Erik Allen sells a T-shirt that states, "Drunk me is really nice." That's really saying something, as Allen is a pretty friendly chap to begin with. He's also one of the most adept joke writers on the Minneapolis comedy scene, so the chance to see him do two distinct headlining shows in the city's best underground venue is something that true comedy nerds won't want to miss. Funny comes naturally to the bald and cuddly Allen. After graduating from high school, he "accidentally" talked his way into a gig as the third host and designated stuntman on a top-40 rock station in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. In 2006, he relocated to the Twin Cities and won Acme Comedy Co.'s prestigious Funniest Person Contest a year later. Since that time, he has become one of the Midwest's most reliable and prolific acts. In 2011, he released This Is All I Have Right Now, the first of a planned trilogy of EPs on Stand Up! Records. Allen attacks premises with wide-eyed wonder in his standup. His single-minded obsession with joke construction is always evident in bits that bob and weave with complexity, and he never loses his feather touch or slouches into intellectual conceit. Add it all up and you've got a performer who radiates readiness for his next big move. Opening for the evening is the always effervescent Gabe Noah and bright newcomer Derek Henkels.
Sat., Feb. 25, 8 & 10 p.m., 2012