Unless you recognize a comedian’s name as That Girl From that Movie or the Dude from That One HBO Special, it can be hard to tell whether a stand-up is worth seeing. Lucky you: Scene did the legwork, and the skinny on this week’s big comedy shows, video included, is just a click away. Read on for a full rundown. – D.X. FerrisComedian: Jeff “The Roastmaster General” Ross (see video above)
Specialty: Ross is one of the premier names on the roast circuit, having blazed celebrities from William Shatner to Pamela Anderson. He directed the well-received documentary Patriot Act, about his experience touring Iraq to enterain troops. And he’s the co-creator of the MTV cartoons Where My Dogs At, in which he and 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan play dogs who wander Hollywood, goffing on celebrities. All-time great quote: “How can Courtney Love look worse than Kurt Cobain?”
Playing: Pick & Frolic’s Hilarities E. 4th St. Theater, 2035 E. 4th St., Downtown, 216-736-4242, www.pickwickandfrolic.com.Dates: Thursday, April 17 through Sunday, April 20.
Showtimes: Tue-Thu: 8 p.m. Fri-Sat: 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. Sun: 7:30 p.m.
Comedian: Tom Simmons
Specialty: Timmons hates the automated checkouts at the grocery story, and that’s good enough for us. If you want more: Says Simmons’ bio, “Urban streets and rural back roads collide in the persona of Tom Simmons. A native of Atlanta, Tom now makes his home in New York after honing his craft in virtually every state in the union. His humor is very accessible to a wide audience, an asset that keeps him working all the time. Southern charm combined with metropolitan sarcasm creates a spin that is unique to this performer.”
Dates: Wed, April 16 through Sunday, April 20
Playing: The Improv, 2000 Sycamore St., East Bank of the Flats, 216-696-4677,
Showtimes: Thursday: 8 p.m. Fri: 8 and 10:15 p.m. Sat: 7, 9:30, and 11:30 p.m. Sunday: 7 p.m.
Comedian: Tom Foss
Speciality: With a genial twang, this West Virginia native does a deceptively cerebral spin on the blue-collar comedy thing. Plus, he takes the stage to music by Zeppelin, which counts for somethin’ ‘round these parts.
Dates: Tuesday, April 15 through Saturday, April 19
Playing: The Funny Stop, 1757 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-923-4700,
www.funnystop.com.Showtimes: Tue-Thu: 8:30 p.m. Fri, Sat: Two shows: 8 and 10:30 p.m.
Tickets: $5-$16, two-drink minimum.