Mar 01, 2018

Just for Laughs

By Joanne Colella

Manhattan Holmdel New York Comedy Invades New Jersey

For those who take their entertainment planning seriously, a great night out is no laughing matter – unless, of course, you happen to enjoy comedy shows! If you’re looking to share some laughs with family or friends, there are plenty of options in our area that are sure to strike your funny bone and leave you in stitches.

Comedy nights have also become a popular choice for organizations, schools, and other groups as fun – and funny – fundraising events, both at established comedy clubs or at offsite locations. In fact, Holmdel High School will be the venue this month for “Manhattan in Holmdel: New York Comedy Invades New Jersey.” The event will be held on Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. The lineup features Emmy Award winner Josh Gondelman (“Last Week Tonight,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Conan”), along with Alise Morales (“UCB,” “Difficult People”), Mary Kate Doherty (“People’s Improv Theater”), and Colby Smith (“Radio Free Brooklyn”). The comedy fest, with humor geared to the high school and adult crowd, will be hosted by Holmdel native Matt Strickland of MTV. For tickets, visit www.HolmdelParents.org and go to the HCAA link. Tickets are just $10 for presale admission and for students, or $15 at the door. Holmdel High School is located at 36 Crawfords Corner Road in Holmdel.

The Middletown Arts Center, at 36 Church Street in Middletown, regularly presents terrific comedy events. The next one is coming up just as this month’s Journals will be arriving, so if you’re reading this, act fast to see if tickets are available! “An Evening of Comedy and Music, starring The Goodfella of Comedy and The Man of Many Voices” is scheduled for Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $30 per person. All are invited to spend an unforgettable evening of merriment and music with Tony Darrow, the Goodfella of Comedy, and Johnny T, The Man of Many Voices, joined by special guest Anthony Di Dio. Tickets are $30 per person, with wine and beer available for purchase. Call (732) 706-4100 to register, or check for other events on the MAC website at www.middletownarts.org.
And speaking of Middletown…one of the best venues around is Stress Factory Comedy Club. The iconic venue, entertaining audiences for more than 20 years, is located in New Brunswick but owned by Middletown’s own Vinnie Brand. Take a look at their calendar and you’ll find a “who’s who” of the best stand-up comedians in the industry, along with a bevy of up-and-coming performers. Headliners have included such favorites as Dave Attell, Jim Breuer, Richard Lewis, Drew Carey, Jim Norton, Gilbert Gottfried, Artie Lang, Denis Leary, Andrew Dice Clay, and countless others. Amidst the laughter, guests also get to enjoy a full menu of food, drinks, and desserts. Check them out at www.stressfactory.com or call (732) 545-HAHA.

Outside the immediate vicinity, but still an easy drive away, is Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club, at 518 Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant. Originally the site of a restaurant that hosted comedy acts just one night a week, it’s since become one of the hottest clubs in the area. (They also now have two additional locations in New Jersey, at the Millstone Performing Arts in Millstone and the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan.) At this Jersey shore venue, you will find professional performers who have been seen and heard on “The Tonight Show,” “The David Letterman Show,” “The Howard Stern Show,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Comedy Central,” “Conan O’Brien,” and “Opie & Anthony.” Fan favorites have included national comedic stars like Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Collins, Jackie “the Joke Man” Martling, Uncle Floyd, and Jim Florentine, as well as popular regional headliners like Mike Marino, Pete Michaels, Don Jamieson, and Paul Venier. Come for the laughs and enjoy dinner and drinks! Find out more at www.unclevinniescomedyclub.com or call (732)

Just one word of caution before you head out to see that up-close-and-personal performance: viewing a comedy show from the front row can sometimes make you an easy target for humorous digs, so choose your seating wisely or be prepared for your moment in the spotlight!