There is a ton of really great comedy happening this week.
Whether you’re trying to laugh, dance, win fabulous booby prizes, or totally shit on this past year, there are multiple shows happening all over town to help you forget your cringy hangout with your sad aunts and weird cousins over the holidays.
To help you get the most LOLs possible, we tracked down some of the most unique, interesting, snarky, and delightfully weird comedy shows happening from now through New Year’s.
New Year’s with Tiffany Norton
New Hope Cinema Grill
Tiffany Norton, who has been the queen of New Year’s Eve in New Hope for years, will take the headliner slot for this big year-end show. Norton has been one of the most impressive comedy stories of the past decade, transforming from part-time performer to must-see headliner at night, all while waking up early as part of KS95’s morning show. This show is definitely worth the drive out to the ‘burbs. 8:30 p.m. $19. 2749 Winnetka Ave. N., New Hope; 763-417-0017.
New Year’s Eve Comedy and Dance Party
Dance Love Studio
Why choose between comedy, dancing, and partying into the New Year? Dance Love Studio will have the best of all three on New Year’s Eve, with comedians Ali Sultan, Greg Coleman, Shawn Nasfstad, and Abenezer Merdassa providing the jokes. Sultan and Coleman are two of the most seasoned headliners in town, and both are worth the price of admission on their own. Meanwhile, Nafstad and Merdassa are two of the fastest-rising up-and-coming voices in comedy, and will likely find themselves headlining their own New Year’s Eve shows in 2020. Get there early, as the comedy will get the party started for the evening at 9 p.m. From there, you can get up and move with a mini dance lesson from Hanna Esparza, then hit the open floor starting at 10:45 p.m. with DJ Salman and DJ Luv. You’ll be able to countdown to the New Year at midnight, celebrate with a toast, sloppily hug and high-five everyone, and then keep the party going until 2 a.m. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. $20/$30 at the door. 2601 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis.
East Coast-Style New Year’s Eve
For anyone who loves to celebrate but also likes going to bed a reasonable time, Maggie Faris has your back. Faris is once again presenting her East Coast-Style New Year’s Eve event, with a stacked lineup of comedians and plenty of surprises. The best part? Each show ends with a full-blown New Year’s countdown (the late show ends at 11 p.m., or midnight on the East Coast -- get it?), with champagne and confetti and all the pomp and circumstance you could ask for $25 bucks. This year’s shows will feature Faris, alongside Amber Preston, who made her mark as an Acme regular before taking over Los Angeles the past several years, and headliner David Dyer, who is best known as part of the Bob and Tom radio show. One of the staples of Faris’ events has become her affinity for booby prizes, and this year’s East Coast blowout will be no exception. Trust us, they will be ridiculous. There are two sets, giving you plenty of time to get home and relieve the babysitter before the “real” parties start, or sneak off to another bar to watch the ball drop and countdown to midnight for real. 7 and 9 p.m. $25. 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis; 612-444-8674.
Also, these comedy shows are recommended by City Pages writers:
Lizz Winstead: Sharknado X
The Cedar Cultural Center
When recounting the entire history of civilization, the last 10 years is just a blip. But when you’re living through a decade of political malaise, cultural anxiety, economic uncertainty, and environmental deterioration, things can feel like a series of escalating catastrophes. Thankfully Lizz Winstead, the socially astute comic who co-created satirical news staple The Daily Show, has been here all the while to provide cathartic laughter at her popular New Year’s Eve retrospectives. In recapping a 365 days worth of absurdities, Winstead brings an insightful perspective, infusing the most exasperating events with much needed levity. That said, even Winstead’s formidable comic skills are certain to be tested when consolidating an entire irrational decade into one hilarious presentation. Winstead, accompanied by guitarist Sam Breckenridge, will evoke laughter from this period of prolonged tension, hopefully imbuing a bit of hope as we enter a new decade. 7:30 p.m. $50/$60; $70 VIP. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. --Brad Richason
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy
“I’m newly divorced, which is a bit of a bummer. But I’m doing good,” says comedian Sean Donnelly. “I just did a spot on Tracy Morgan’s show, The Last O.G., playing a security guard, and I’ve been doing tons of standup as usual.” Onstage, Donnelly is talking about everything from U.F.O.s to social media. “I had A.D.D. as a kid,” he says of the latter. “Social media is like my brain, but as a collective unit. After a few days, we can’t remember what we were upset about or who we were mad at.” Donnelly reckons we’re headed back to 1996 as people back away from social media. “I already see it happening. People say, ‘I check my email and maybe look up a recipe.’ Even the tech companies have caught on, offering features that let you lock yourself out of the internet for awhile.” He likens it to how bars were years ago. “They used to say in bars, ‘No politics or religion.’ I think that’s kind of good. I’m not saying we can’t talk about things, but we can still be friends and have different opinions. Family members are unfriending each other. People need to chill out. One thing doesn’t define a person.” 7 and 10 p.m. $25-$55.95. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. --P.F. Wilson
Acme Comedy Co.
“I’m in an airport in Costa Rica,” Bengt Washburn tells us. “I did a cruise ship gig last week and this is where I get off.” For years, working the boats, as they say, wasn’t the most desirable gig in comedy, but Washburn says times have changed. “I don’t mind it,” he says. “Older audiences now are pretty hip. When I first started, they didn’t know what standup was. Now, if you have an audience of 50 and 60 year olds, they know who Carlin is; they get it.” Washburn doesn’t work blue, but there are still things that seem otherwise innocuous that he can’t joke about on ships. “I still do clubs. That’s where I do the writing,” he says. His PG/PG-13 style earned him two specials on Dry Bar Comedy, a website and production company that favors clean standup. “My last special for them was called Not Bad,” he explains. “At Acme, I’ll be doing the ‘Sort of Bad’ show. It’s all the stuff from Not Bad, but not truncated. It goes a little further.” For example, he’ll be able to touch on some social and political topics that he couldn’t do at sea. “That would start a fight on a ship,” he adds. “But it would be pretty funny given the age group. Someone would tip over and die.” 8 and 10:30 p.m. $30; $60 with dinner. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. --P.F. Wilson
Other great shows set for New Year’s Eve:
Resolution 2020: A Zero Proof New Year's Eve
This all ages, sober show features music from HALEY and Lydia Liza, plus comedian Moe Yaqub. 9 p.m. $45/$55 at the door; $75 VIP. Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; 612-822-8080.
Madi RT Underground NYE Comedy Show
Madi RT hosts a New Years Eve show with Senthil Rajasekharan, James Wells, Nick Piontek, and Patrick Ryan Bauer. Free champagne at midnight. 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. $20. Club Underground, 355 Monroe St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-627-9123.
With a Mexican buffet and music from DJ Scott Rousseau. 8 p.m. $40-$50. Heart of the City Music Factory, 2665 Fourth Ave., Anoka; 612-990-6192.