MinniHaha: This Week in Comedy

There's plenty on tap in comedy this week as Christmas looms ever-nearer -- and God knows a free-flowing tap is the only way to survive the holidays. If watching your tremor-stricken uncle Alkie try to wrap a present in crumpled newsprint that features a story on his own DWI citation isn't taking the edge off your Yuletide mood, there's laughs-a-plenty (and booze, sweet booze) to raise your Christmas spirits.

The show of the week has to be Tim Pulnik and Benny Quash at the Joke Joint in Bloomington. Pulnik is a wide-eyed, high-energy comic whose onstage flailings recall Dane Cook, except Pulnik tells his own jokes -- and probably remembers to write punchlines for them, too. But what makes this show special is the contrast between the manic New Yorker and his opener, local talent Quash -- whose heart rate may well soar at 40 or 45 beats per minute as he rolls out his wry routine, delivered at the speed of smirk. Quash's beguiling, dry humor and Pulnik's frenetic stage persona should make for a great oil-and-water contrast. Plus, the Joke Joint recently added a late show on Saturday, so now there are four chances to catch the funny.

Cash-strapped from the approaching gift-swap bonanza? ACME's Monday open mic is free, as always, while the same night The Beat Coffeehouse fuses stand-up, sketch comedy, and sundry weirdess for just $3. Meanwhile, Wednesday night's Death Comedy Jam at Grumpy's downtown is a scream, and it won't cost you nothin' but your soul.