Funny is where you find it.
But to save time scouting out the stuff that will more than likely put a smile on your face, here’s a batch of comedians, musicians and Santas that could keep you ho-ho-ho-ing all weekend.
That’s right, Santas, as in more than one. Tell the tykes at your own risk!
Glorious anger management failure Lewis Black is one of the world’s funniest guys because he can’t control his temper. Ever. Idiotic things just make him mad, and there’s apparently no shortage of them to set him off. Whether the topic is presidential politics or legalizing pot, you can count on Black’s standup comedy act to unleash hilariously fuming fury. Join him on his “The Joke’s on US Tour,” with “US” conveniently serving as a pun on United States. Where did we go wrong? Leave it to Black not to hold back – as if he could.
Sunday, 8 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39.50-$59.50.
I’ve known more than a few very funny Tuba players who liked to put an extra oomph into their oompah. Perhaps their waggishness came from being traditionally seated way in the back of the band, where instrumental mischief can be easier to pull off with without a reprimand from the conductor. But the Kansas City Symphony is getting serious – well, as serious as it can with hijinks-friendly members of the low brass section – by attempting to set a new Guinness World Record for largest tuba ensemble at this year’s TubaChristmas concert. The current record is 502. Let’s blow it away!
Friday, noon; Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.
Standup comics don’t do improvisational comedy … or do they? They’re sure going to try at this weekend’s Improv Standup show in Gladstone. Five local standups – Jamie Campbell, Cody Lindenberger, Brad Meehan, Andrea Caspari Spears and Kyle Yarber – will individually create comedy based only on audience suggestions. So much for having to write jokes. If you go, do everyone a big favor and bring some funny material.
Friday, 8 p.m.; Groundhog Day Theatre, 6906 N. Oak Trafficway, Gladstone, Mo.; tickets: $10.
Here’s another offbeat vehicle for made-up-in-the-moment funny stuff: Local improvisational comics riffing on audience members’ real-life stories about their week. Whether volunteers pulled from the crowd had a good week or a bad week, the team of local cut-ups onstage will strive to amusingly expand upon each premise to put the crowd in stitches. Actually, a bad week is probably funnier. So maybe…you got stitches? How appropriate!
Saturday, 10 p.m.; the Improv Shop, 3810 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $6.
Santas on a bicycle pub crawl are a virtual lock to get laughs, whether you’re participating as one of the mobile merrymaker or just gawking on the street. The eighth annual Santa Rampage bike ride and pub crawl will travel between five downtown-midtown Kansas City pubs, starting at the Fire Station and heading to Brewery Emperial, then through Crown Center on the way to McCoy's Public House. Then it’s time for a Santa bike procession on the Country Club Plaza and a final spin into Spin! Neapolitan Pizza. Yum. Have a good time, Santas, but white beards and anchovies don’t mix.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. starts at the Filling Station, 2980 McGee Trafficway, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.
Attention proud owners of dogs, cats, birds, heck, maybe even goldfish: Have your pets pose humorously with Santa himself and also help feed those in need this holiday season. Every bit of the cost to get a digital pet pic with Old Saint Nick goes to Chain of Hope. Arf! Meow! Chirp! Uh, I don’t know what sound a goldfish makes, but it’s got to be funny.
Friday, 4-7 p.m. Friday, Brookside Barkery & Bath, 118 W. 63rd St., Kansas City, Mo.; photo fee for charity: $10.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.