BEST COMEDY CLUB (1998)
The home of the annual Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest takes honors as the knee-slappingest place in town this year. ACME prides itself on booking edgy acts, says club manager Lewis Lee, and in the summer it brings comics to the Twin Cities who fall well outside of the polite mainstream. That reputation for fringe comedy not only keeps the patrons coming, but also makes the site attractive to comics such as Doug Stanhope, who had an HBO offer rescinded after the network deemed him too risky. Lee's favorite stand-up might be Tim Slagle, who appears often; Lee says he likes the comic because Slagle's "viewpoint is so radical, most people will find him offensive. Whether you like his humor or not, people will listen." Though most weekday shows run about two hours ($10, shows start at 8 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, with a 10:30 p.m. show Friday and Saturday), sometimes the energy can induce performers and audience alike to stay into the a.m. hours in search of the perfect laugh.