• Mike Speenberg at Crackers Downtown is the pick of the week.

I have to admit, I'm a little biased when it comes to Mike Speenberg. I last saw him a little over a year ago as a featured act for Billy Ray Bauer and he stole the show. I loved it— just like about three other people in the audience. I thought he was brilliant, but apparently his jokes were lost on 75% of the audience that night, which left me with this strange sense of duty to him— it was like I felt embarrassed for the entire city.

I was so sure that I was right and that everyone else was wrong that I approached him after the show and apologized on their behalf. Apparently, he felt the same way— not with any arrogant or condescending "they just don't get it because they're too stupid" attitude, but he was confused as to why it didn't go over better (and rightfully so). He was also very cordial and friendly.

My review of Bauer's show that night really ended up being more of a review of "Speenburg" (I'm just now realizing I misspelled his name in that review).

Here's what I had to say about Speenberg in June of 2009:

"Bauer was set up beautifully by featured act Mike Speenburg, whose self-aware Southern charm was personable... and had a subtle undertone of modest ingenuity. [Speenberg] was refreshingly original, and established a standard of humorous creativity that Bauer was not quite able to match."

He's one of few comics I've ever seen with a country accent who avoids the traps that come along with it. He doesn't allow himself to be pigeon-holed into the stereotypes of "Southern" comedians—if you will— (Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White, etc.) and has a set that is all his own; very original, but also accessible to a huge spectrum of demographics.

He's being billed as a “perfect blend of Jeff Foxworthy and Dennis Leary," but I think that observation is more reflective of his accent than his sense of humor; he's much funnier than both.

Weekend Lineup:

Price listed is the lowest available, and all shows are Friday and Saturday, unless otherwise noted. Most also have Weds, Thurs., and Sunday shows; check their website for more info.

Crackers Downtown- Mike Speenberg , 8 and 10:30 pm, $15. www.crackerscomedy.com

Crackers Broadripple- Shane Mauss, 8 and 10:30 pm, $15. www.crackerscomedy.com

Morty’s Comedy Joint- Daryl Lenox, 8 and 10:15 pm, $10. www.mortyscomedy.com

ComedySportz- Improv, 7:30 pm, (and 10:00 on Sat.), $15, www.indycomedysportz.com

Comedysportz- $5 Improv Jam, 10:00 pm. Friday only. www.indycomedysportz.com

The Funny Bone (Bloomington) — John Roy, 8 and 10:30 pm, $10. www.funnybonebtown.com

More than most forms of entertainment, stand-up comedy lineups are subject to last-minute changes, as well as unexpected sell-outs. Please be sure to check the website of the venue (or call and reserve tickets) before heading out, and make sure to be aware of any updated times, prices, availability or performers.

If you are aware of any upcoming events or venues that are not included here, please feel free to comment them below or email aroberts@nuvo.net!

  • Shane Mauss headlines the Broad Ripple stage.
  • Daryl Lenox takes the stage at Morty's this weekend.

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