June Stand-up Round-up: Mike Birbiglia, Reformed Whores, Rob Delaney and more

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In this week's cover story, I hip you to the existence of Nashville's underground comedy scene, a loosely organized sprawl of funny people that has lately grown toward critical mass. Nashville's stand-up scene is still developing, but it's really starting to come into its own as local comics book their own shows, woo outsiders into our venues and try bold, daring stuff in the name of making people laugh.

If the idea of attending stand-up comedy shows is up your alley, good news! There's a ton out there to see. You can find a list of highlights for the month of June, plus a rundown of open mics and regular local shows after the jump.

OPEN MICS

Mercy Lounge Billiard Room (Weekly, Mondays) — The flagship show of Corporate Juggernaut, who have been prolific in creating and booking shows in clubs and bars around Nashville for the past year or two. Each comic gets 5 minutes to do their thing, with sign-up at 8 p.m. and the show starting at 8:30 p.m. You may need to enter from the Mercy Lounge deck.

The East Room (Weekly, Tuesdays) — Not content with just one open mic, Corporate Juggernaut added this Tuesday night mic a couple of months ago — first at Mad Donna's and now at The East Room. Hosted by Brad Edwards, this open mic has a bit of a different feel. Not just because it's in kind of a weird room, but because comics are backed up by The Grey Greys — Sean Parrott and Gary Fletcher playing guitar and drums respectively. They sound like the band from Space Ghost Coast to Coast. It's pretty great. Sign up at 8 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.

Spanky's (Weekly, Tuesdays) — The old standard. Spanky's can be a tough room — as you might expect from doing comedy in a dive bar on Nolensville Road — but it's been one of the longest lasting shows in town. Funniest comic wins a Fresca! Sign up at 8 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.

Springwater Supper Club (Monthly, First Wednesday) — Speaking of dive bars. The Springwater open mic is the latest incarnation of comedy shows put on by Craig Smith (previously The End and Hair of the Dog). Hosted by Sean Parrott, this one gets a little weird. Like, seeing Dave Cloud attempt stand-up weird. Sign up at 9 p.m., show at 9:30 p.m.

Jazz & Jokes (Biweekly, Second & Fourth Wednesdays) — Jazz & Jokes is, as far as I am aware, the only urban open mic in town. You'll need to check their schedule online for exactly when their Thursday night open mic runs — it switches off with an improv comedy night hosted by 101.1 The Beat's Zach Boog. This one's only free until 10 p.m., so don't show up late. Sign up at 8 p.m. and there is a two-drink minimum.

RECURRING

Kamikaze Kitten at Dino's (Monthly, Second Wednesday) — The latest show started by NashvilleStandUp.com proprietor Chad Riden. It's pretty no-frills — several booked comedians, along with a handful of bucket slots for people dropping in, tell jokes beneath neon beer signs at the back of Dino's. It's free and usually starts around 8:30 p.m.

Comedy Pug Hugs at Cafe Coco (Monthly) — Co-hosted by Mary Berger and Paulina Combow, who previously co-hosted Keg-Stand(up) Comedy at That's Cool with Riden, Comedy Pug Hugs is more of a variety comedy show with stand-up and sketch included. Cover is $5 and goes down in the backroom at Cafe Coco. It looks like their next show won't be until July, but keep an eye out.

Pictures of Fireworks at Fido (Monthly, Last Wednesday)I've jabbered on about this one a few times before, but Pictures of Fireworks is a monthly storytelling show in the style of The Moth and Risk, where folks take turns telling stories — humorous or otherwise. Jane Borden hosts this one under the Corporate Juggernaut banner. It's free and open to all ages.

HIGHLIGHTS

Bill Bellamy at Zanies (6/3 to 6/9) — Remember when Bill Bellamy was the star of Fastlane on Fox? Me neither. But, more than that, Bellamy has been a star on Def Comedy Jam who may have coined the term “Booty Call.” If that is true, we are in your debt, sir.

Jared Logan and Reformed Whores at The High Watt (6/9) — Marie Cecile Anderson returns to Nashville with her musical-comedy duo Reformed Whores. Think Garfunkel & Oates, but less Zooey Deschanel and more Patsy Cline. Along for the ride is Jared Logan, whose Comedy Central half-hour special debuts tomorrow at midnight.

Mike Birbiglia at Zanies (6/11 to 6/12) — In town for a few days before performing at Bonnaroo, Mike Birbiglia is fresh off his latest one-man show and now on a short tour aimed at working out new material. The tote bag brigate has likely heard him on This American Life, but he also wrote, directed and starred in one of the best movies about being a stand-up since 1988's Punchline.

Jon Lovitz at Zanies (6/14 to 16) — Acting!

Ralphie May at Zanies (6/19) — Nashvillian-by-way-of-Texas Ralphie May drops into Zanies for one-off dates every once in a while. This is one of those. If you haven't listened to his The Perfect 10 podcast yet, it's worth a moment of your time.

Adam Devine at Zanies (6/20 to 23) — Adam Devine stars as “Adam DeMamp” on Comedy Central's Workaholics, which has been the network's biggest narrative hit in years. Devine's got a kind of broish comedy sensibility that should appeal to fans of The League and Childrens Hospital.

Comedy High-Five at High Watt (6/23) — A local gig! Will Copeland hosts this night of off-beat comedy, featuring a to-be-announced group of local and touring comics getting weird on stage.

Kyle Kinane at Zanies (6/27) — Kinane is back for his third headlining show in Nashville, this time at Zanies with Sean Patton. If you missed his Bongo After Hours Theater show a couple years back, you blew it. But, better late than never for Kinane's surly jokes about being drunk and disheveled.

Rob Delaney at Exit/In (6/29) — The undisputed king of Twitter comes to Nashville! Exit/In doesn't host a lot of comedy shows these days (the last I saw was The Comedians of Comedy in 2006), but this should be a good one. Delaney's one-liners on Twitter are bitterly funny, but behind that wit lies a tremendously introspective, fascinating comedian.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg — more shows are happening at Zanies, Jazz & Jokes, High Watt and elsewhere. Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments!

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