Fall Arts 2016: Comedy

Hedwig & the Angry Inch
Oct. 2–30, at the Golden Gate Theatre.
Tickets at shnsf.com.

Fresh from the Berlin Wall via Broadway, Hedwig & the Angry Inch launches its first national tour with a month-long residency at the Golden Gate Theatre. John Cameron Mitchell’s gender-bending rock odyssey has gone from Off-Broadway to feature film to Broadway revival, and led by San Francisco’s own Darren Criss (Glee) as Hedwig — and featuring the return of Lena Hall (who won a Tony in her role as Yitzhak) — this is a musical with as many laughs as guitar solos. Pull that wig out of its box, and get ready for Hedwig to tear you down.

Norm MacDonald
Oct. 7 – 9, at Cobb’s Comedy Club.
Tickets at livenation.com.

From his brilliant turn hosting the 1998 ESPY Awards (YouTube it and prepare for incredibly dark O.J. Simpson jokes) to his current role as a Twitter raconteur, Norm MacDonald has always stayed true to his bone-dry, occasionally abstract brand of humor. If you’ve never seen him do stand-up, make sure you take this chance to catch the former Saturday Night Live star in his natural element: on stage with a microphone in his hand.

Hannibal Buress
Oct. 16, at the Fox Theater, Oakland, 8 p.m.
Tickets at livenation.com

Yes, Hannibal Buress may be best known as the guy who brought Bill Cosby’s horrific sexual crimes back into the mainstream conversation, but he would probably prefer you see him as one of the better young stand-up comics working today. Mixing observational humor with takes on today’s politically charged climate, almost anything sounds funny coming from Buress. If you’ve seen him as Ilana’s dentist boyfriend on Broad City, you have a pretty good idea of what he’s about. But don’t sleep on this chance to see him at the Fox before he’s hitting arenas like Amy Schumer.

Amy Schumer
Oct. 20, at Oracle Arena.
Tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Amy Schumer is simply on fire. Hit movie with Judd Apatow? Check. Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series on Comedy Central that just wrapped its fourth season? Check. Newly released collection of essays about to hit The New York Times bestseller list? Yup, that too. Schumer has done it all, but her foundation has always been stand-up. While we can all live in a dream world where surprise Punch Line drop-in shows à la Dave Chappelle still remain a possibility, the truth is seeing her from the rafters at Oracle is as close as you’re going to get.

Abbi Jacobsonin conversation with Carrie Brownstein
Oct. 29, at Nourse Theater, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets at cityarts.net.

What could be better than an evening with Abbi Jacobson, one half of the Broad City duo that has made New York their own and brought “Yass Kween” into the cultural lexicon? Why not throw in Sleater-Kinney guitarist and Portlandia co-creator and star Carrie Brownstein to interview her? Jacobson appears in support of her illustrated book, Carry This Book, which is sure to be chock-full of the irreverence and subtle wisdom that has made Broad City such an immediate hit.

John Cleese and Eric Idle
Nov. 2–4, at the Golden Gate Theatre.
Tickets at shnsf.com.

Who cares what happens in “Together Again At Last … For The Very First Time”? It’s freaking John Cleese and Eric Idle! Monty Python’s two most famous members will unite for an evening that promises storytelling, improvised segments, musical numbers, and aquatic juggling. Truly, the cost of the ticket would be justified if it were just Cleese and Idle watching the BBC and slowly dozing off in recliners. This is an incredible get for SHN, and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see two blokes who are assuredly first-ballot Comedy Hall of Fame inductees.

Ali Wong
Dec. 23 and 26, at Cobb’s Comedy Club.
Tickets at livenation.com.

Recording your own televised stand-up special must be tough, but recording it while seven-and-a-half-months pregnant? That takes guts. San Francisco’s own Ali Wong was up to the challenge, and her Netflix special, Baby Cobra, has been racking up the critical accolades ever since it hit the streaming service in May. Returning for a handful of shows around the holidays, Wong may no longer be with child, but she will certainly be with kick-ass material.

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