By the time the weekend arrives, a little comic relief is welcome. So how about more than a little?
You can begin with a comic book party, a comic beard contest and that funny little comic who made “makin’ copies” a catch phrase on “Saturday Night Live.”
I know, it’s never enough. How tragicomic.
In the 1930s, the introduction of comic books on newsstands delighted readers. In more recent years, the words-and-pictures pamphlets populated by so many colorful characters have inspired countless comic conventions, where fans of comics and related forms of fantastical pop-culture gather to revel in their united enthusiasms.
The focus of the second annual Kansas City Comic Con will remain on comics and their creators, but it wouldn’t be a full-blown comic con without media guests. This year’s crop of famous faces includes Billy Dee Williams (“Star Wars”), Nichell Nichols (“Star Trek”) and the original “Dukes of Hazzard” boys, John Schneider and Tom Wopat – all of whom have been portrayed in comic books. Collect ’em all!
Friday, 1-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20-$60.
2. KC BeardCon
Billed as a “beard and mustache competition of comic proportions,” the third annual KC BeardCon is certain to be a facial hair lover’s paradise. Even if you can’t personally tolerate more than a little chin stubble, you can still be swept away by the droll appeal of way-out whiskers judged in 15 categories. Trophies will be awarded. Shaving kits will be mocked. All proceeds benefit the Harvesters Community Food Network of Kansas City.
Saturday, 6 p.m.; Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10 for spectators; $20 for competitors; free for ages 11 and younger accompanied by paying adult.
Perhaps you know comic Rob Schneider from his 1990s stint on “SNL” or as the star of “Ace Bigalow: Male Gigolo.” Chances are you’ve smiled at his antics at one time or another over the years. Or at least smirked. Hey, smiles can be smirks. No? Uh-oh, so much for that job interview. My favorite Schneider moment was in Adam Sandler’s “The Waterboy.” Don’t smirk! At least not until you catch Schneider’s stand-up act.
Friday, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.; Saturday, 7 and 9:45 p.m.; Kansas City Improv, 7260 N.W. 87th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $27-$32.
Is there any doubt that the hot dog is a comic object? With only the slightest encouragement, it wiggles like few other handheld edibles. And you can use it to point at things, which become instantly silly because you’re pointing at them with a wiggling hot dog. Yet the joke is on us when we enjoy them for their intended purpose, since they’re not exactly health food. So laugh it up and gobble up all the dogs you like at this annual fundraiser for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Be thankful I didn’t give you my thoughts on the bun.
Saturday, noon-10 p.m.; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20 adults, $10 ages 5-11 (half-price if purchased before Saturday; includes admission to NLBM).
Runners wanting to improve their times should find strong encouragement in this comic 5K featuring 20 or more zombies chasing after participants. Each runner will be given a flag that they are to protect from the not-so-shambling members of the undead. It’s a nighttime event, but there’s really no reason to be scared. Unless the horde of decomposing pursuers mistakes one of your flailing extremities for the flag. Stupid zombies.
Saturday, 9:30 p.m.; the Village at Briarcliff, 4151 N. Mulberry Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; registration: $60.
Here’s an evening full of comic videos and live improvisations by local funny people hosted by The C in Comedy group. But if it’s “the funniest night,” how can there be more than one? Can you tell me that? The Mr. Picky in me lives for these moments.
Sunday, 7:30 p.m.; Westport Coffeehouse, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $5.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.