The biggest, oldest, and best (and also only) yearly comedy festival in the Twin Cities is back for a sixth year. Today, the 10,000 Laughs Festival kicks off with the first of 11 shows taking place across three days at venues all over the Twin Cities.
From Pssy Ctrl, the all-female showcase happening at the Uptown VFW, to the Dirty Show at Comedy Corner Underground (which is exactly what it sounds like), there is something for comedy lovers of all kinds. While every happening is going to be great, it may be difficult to be everywhere at once. To help make the most of your time, we’ve put together our top five must-see events of the festival.
Royal Comedy Showcase
One of the most impressive things about the festival’s growth is the amount of talent it's brought in this year both locally and from all over the country. The lineup this Friday night at the Royal Comedy Theatre in Hopkins is probably the best representation of the eclectic nature of the fest, with comedians from Minnesota, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The headliner for the evening, Danielle Perez, is best known for being the woman in a wheelchair with no feet who won a treadmill on The Price Is Right. The Los Angeles-based comedian is hilarious, and sure to be a highlight of the weekend. Friday, October 14, at 9 p.m. at Royal Comedy Theatre.
Hand Jobs Presents: Midnight Puppet Madness
Easily the most unusual show of this year’s festival also happens to be free. The Los Angeles puppet collective Hand Jobs will bring their soft, plushy puppets and grown-up jokes to Comedy Corner Underground for a show that is advertised as “a burlesque comedy club in Sesame Street’s red-light district.” Puppets, sketch, standup, music, and film will all come together in one gloriously bizarre melting pot of comedy, releasing the shitty inner child in everyone. Midnight, Friday, October 14, at Comedy Corner Underground.
Late Late Breakfast
What’s better than a comedy game show? A comedy game show with pancakes! Coming in from Chicago, The Late Late Breakfast will be making it’s second appearance in the Twin Cities after a successful debut at Grumpy’s last summer. Equal parts standup, variety show, and game show, Breakfast will feature all local acts that will be selected the day of -- meaning you won’t know what you’re getting into until you show up. In the past, the hosts have been known to have comedians perform standup while doing things like tossing pies at the stage to throw them off. Plus, at the only daytime show of the festival, you’ll be able to see what your favorite local comedians look like in the daylight. Saturday, October 15, 2 p.m. at Turf Club.
This one is for the Minneapolis comedy OGs. Arguably the deepest lineup of talent at the fest, Showcase Showcase will feature the best established and up-and-coming Twin Cities local comedy talent. That includes Kate Anderson, Patrick Susmilch, and host Henry Fuguitt. Capping things off will be former Acme open micer and Last Comic Standing finalist Andy Erikson. There will also be a handful of out-of-towners performing, including Arish Singh from Chicago and Son Tran from Houston. With a lineup that good, it almost overcomes the horrible name of the show. Saturday, October 15 at 8 p.m. at Sisyphus Brewing.
Best of the Fest
This is sort of a cop-out, since this show will literally be the best of the best from the schedule. If you only have a couple of hours to spare all weekend, this is your chance to check out the proverbial all-star game of the festival, joining up for one final show. Local favorite Mary Mack will handle hosting duties, meaning that it is guaranteed to be both the funniest and nicest show of the bunch. Saturday, October 15 at 10 p.m. at Sisyphus Brewing.
IF YOU GO:
10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival
Visit 10000laughs.com for more information and tickets.