Ready to laugh again: Dayton’s comedy scene is back and thriving

"Weird Al" Yankovic will perform at the Schuster Center Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022.

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"Weird Al" Yankovic will perform at the Schuster Center Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022.

If there was ever a time when people needed to laugh, now is that time. As COVID cases decrease, the impulse to gather has increased.

The stand-up scene in Dayton has been slowly making a comeback. However, more diverse shows are becoming popular. And Andre Bennington, director of programming and licensing at Dayton Live, said that’s how it should be.

“Comedy shows are really relevant,” he said. “People want to get together to share an experience. People want to laugh and laugh over something that is common to them in light of the events around the world. It’s a great time for comedy.”

Bennington said Dayton Live is looking to make Dayton a place where touring comedians and shows want to perform because he believes there is a market here for commercial music and comedy.

“We want to come up as a topic in the conversation with comedians and bookers,” he said. “Dayton was sometimes an afterthought. I want to change that narrative from ‘we can play Dayton’ to ‘we must play Dayton.’”

The Black Box Improv Theater is also seeing an uptick in attendance at their weekly shows, but also in the amount of people who want to participate in improv. Another level one improv class has been added at the end of March because there was a waiting list.

“We’re one of the only long improv groups in the city,” said Black Box co-owner Kevin Carter. “You can come here for entertainment and to just relax. We’re involving the community as well and want to truly be a part of downtown.”

The theater will also host Small Business Saturday on March 19, where a small business owner gets to participate in the shows while spotlighting their name and business. The business owner will give personal experiences from which the improv troupes will perform.

“We want our two communities to combine and create something together,” Carter said. “We are really wanting to support the community.”

Carter said they also plan to get kids involved this summer with the first-ever Kidprov Summer Camp. Kids ages 8 to 18 can participate in a week-long improv adventure concluding with a showcase performance.

Explore15 entertainers with Dayton ties to watch in 2022

If you’re looking for the tried-and-true stand-up comedy experience, Dayton is fortunate to have two comedy clubs, Wiley’s Comedy Club and Dayton Funny Bone. Erica Loreant, general manager at Wiley’s Comedy Club, said laughter is a necessity.

“The world has been through so much in the last two years and people just want to laugh,” Loreant said. “They want to feel some sort of normalcy again, even if it’s just for the hour and a half they are at a show.”

While comedy is becoming more prevalent around town, Dayton is particularly lucky to have Wiley’s Comedy Club, the oldest comedy club in Ohio. The club will celebrate its 40th anniversary on April 20. Loreant said it’s an honor to be part of comedy history.

“I hope the club continues to grow, making people laugh and just give them a place to have fun,” she said. “I would love to see the club make it back to its glory days.”

DAYTON LIVE

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(Left to right) Tiffany Jenkins, Dena Blizzard and Meredith Masony appear "My Name Is Not Mom." PHOTO COURTESY OF DAYTON LIVE.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

(Left to right) Tiffany Jenkins, Dena Blizzard and Meredith Masony appear "My Name Is Not Mom." PHOTO COURTESY OF DAYTON LIVE.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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(Left to right) Tiffany Jenkins, Dena Blizzard and Meredith Masony appear "My Name Is Not Mom." PHOTO COURTESY OF DAYTON LIVE.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

“My Name is Not Mom”

“My Name is Not Mom” features internet sensations Tiffany Jenkins, Meredith Masony and Dena Blizzard. The trio will hilariously detail their journey through motherhood with this special live event featuring stand-up, stories, and videos from their online community and audience interaction. This show is best for ages 18 and up.

When: Saturday, April 2, 8 p.m.

Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

Cost: $35 to $55

More info: Website | Tickets

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Comedian Leanne Morgan will be appearing at the Schuster Center in Dayton on April 22, 2022. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAYTON LIVE.

Credit: Dayton Live

Comedian Leanne Morgan will be appearing at the Schuster Center in Dayton on April 22, 2022. Tickets will go on sale at Friday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m.

Credit: Dayton Live

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Comedian Leanne Morgan will be appearing at the Schuster Center in Dayton on April 22, 2022. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAYTON LIVE.

Credit: Dayton Live

Credit: Dayton Live

“Leanne Morgan: The Big Panty Tour”

Leanne Morgan will bring her “Big Panty Tour” to Dayton in April. Morgan is a stand-up comic who uses her real-life experiences and southern charm in her act. She has appeared at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, “The View” and “Nick at Nite’s Funniest Mom.” She also toured with the Southern Fried Chicks for three years. She is currently developing a sitcom based on her comedy with Warner Brothers and ABC.

When: Friday, April 22, 7 p.m.

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

Cost: $29.75 to $49.75

More info: Tickets | Facebook

“Charlie Berens: Midwest Survival Guide Tour”

Emmy-winning journalist and comedian Charlie Berens will perform in Dayton in April. He began his career working for MTV News’ “Choose or Lose.” He has also hosted many shows including CBS Sports Network’s “You’re So Money” and PMC’s “@Hollywood.” He is a frequent collaborator on “Funny or Die.” In 2017 he began the viral Midwest comedic news series “Manitowoc Minute.” His Midwest-focused sketch comedy videos have garnered hundreds of millions of views.

When: Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

Cost: $37 to $47

More info: Tickets | Facebook

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"Weird Al" Yankovic will perform at the Schuster Center Aug. 23, 2022.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

"Weird Al" Yankovic will perform at the Schuster Center Aug. 23, 2022.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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"Weird Al" Yankovic will perform at the Schuster Center Aug. 23, 2022.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic brings his “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” to the Schuster Center in August with special guest Emo Philips. The tour marks Yankovic’s long-anticipated return to the concert stage after his hugely successful “Strings Attached Tour” in 2019 where he performed each night alongside a full symphony orchestra. This show will not feature his parody material but rather his more obscure work.

When: Tuesday, Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

Cost: $49 to $329

More info: Tickets | Website

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Credit: ANNA WEBBER

Credit: ANNA WEBBER

FRAZE PAVILION

Steve Martin and Martin Short

Two comedy legends from “Saturday Night Live” will make a stop in Kettering this summer on their “You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today!” show. Their new show will include sketches, as well as some music with Steve Martin and his banjo. The show also features Jeff Babico with Alison Brown Fair Weather Friends.

When: Saturday, May 28, 8 p.m.

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

Cost: $49 to $144

More info: Tickets | Website

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias

Gabriel Iglesias has been in the comedy game since the late 1990s. His stand-up comedy is a mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring his personal experiences to life. His unique and animated comedy style has made him popular among fans of all ages.

When: Saturday, Aug. 20, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

Cost: $45 to $75

More info: Tickets | Website

WILEY’S COMEDY CLUB

Stewart Huff

Stewart Huff has been performing comedy for 15 years and is known for being a storyteller with a quick wit. He has performed all over the country in comedy clubs including the Improv in Los Angeles and New York. He was the 2016 Critics Choice of the Best Comedy at the Orlando Fringe Festival and is featured in the 2009 documentary “Road Comics: Big Work on Small Stages.”

When: Friday, March 18, 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 19, 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Where: Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St., Dayton

Cost: $20

More info: Tickets | Facebook

Gabe Kea featuring Anna Mazza

Gabe Kea, who resides in Cincinnati, will stop in Dayton at the end of March. He has been featured in the Limestone Comedy Festival in Bloomington, Indiana, Gilda’s Laugh Fest in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. He has opened for Joel McHale, Nikki Glaser and Dave Chappelle. His debut album, “Dumber Than a Fish,” is available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.

When: Friday, March 25, 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 26, 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Where: Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St., Dayton

Cost: $15

More info: Tickets | Facebook

Dwight Simmons

Dwight Simmons hails from Indianapolis and started his comedy career at the Comedy Attic in Bloomington, Indiana. Simmons has been featured in the Limestone Comedy Festival. In 2015 his debut album, “Pacifist Aggressive,” hit No. 1 on the iTunes charts.

When: Friday, April 1, 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 2, 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Where: Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St., Dayton

Cost: $15

More info: Tickets | Facebook

DAYTON FUNNY BONE

Damon Williams

Damon Williams has been in the stand-up comedy business for many decades. He has been featured on BET’s Comicview and BET LIVE. He was the opening act for “The Kings of Comedy Tour” and was chosen to attend the US Comedy Arts Festival in 2000. He is currently on the “Black Comedy Tour” which visits colleges and universities all over the country.

When: Friday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Saturday, March 26, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Where: Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St. Suite 200 at The Greene, Beavercreek

Cost: $21

More info: Tickets | Facebook

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Comedian Ms. Pat will perform at the Funny Bone Comedy Club at The Greene in Beavercreek.

Comedian Ms. Pat will perform at the Funny Bone Comedy Club at The Greene in Beavercreek.

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Comedian Ms. Pat will perform at the Funny Bone Comedy Club at The Greene in Beavercreek.

Ms. Pat

Ms. Pat has been performing for more than a decade as a comedian. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s “This is Not Happening” and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” She is a regular on many radio shows and podcasts. She is a powerful woman with an honest, in-your-face style.

When: Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Saturday, April 9, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Where: Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St. Suite 200 at The Greene, Beavercreek

Cost: $32

More info: Tickets | Facebook

Dominique

Beyond performing stand-up comedy, Dominique is a film and stage actress. She’s worked with comedians including Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan. With her straightforward wit and comedic standpoint reminiscent of Mom’s Mabley, Dominique continues touring the country in clubs big and small.

When: Friday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Where: Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St. Suite 200 at The Greene, Beavercreek

Cost: $22

More info: Tickets | Facebook

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Christopher Titus. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Christopher Titus. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Christopher Titus. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Christopher Titus

Christopher Titus is a stand-up comedian, writer, actor and producer. He earned Emmy nominations for his show “Titus” on FOX. Titus has also written and starred in eight 90-minute comedy specials and is currently perform his “Stories I Shouldn’t Tell” special. Titus has a loud and very distinct voice in the comedy industry.

When: Thursday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St. Suite 200 at The Greene, Beavercreek

Cost: $32

More info: Tickets | Facebook

Joe Gatto

Most people know Joe Gatto from the hit prank show “Impractical Jokers.” He is executive producer of the show and has performed with an “Impractical Jokers Live Tour” in arenas across the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland.

When: Friday, May 13, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 14, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Where: Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St. Suite 200 at The Greene, Beavercreek

Cost: $50 to $150

More info: Tickets | Facebook

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The Black Box Improv Theater recently hosted Galentine's Day. CONTRIBUTED

The Black Box Improv Theater recently hosted Galentine's Day. CONTRIBUTED

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The Black Box Improv Theater recently hosted Galentine's Day. CONTRIBUTED

THE BLACK BOX IMPROV THEATER

Weekly improv shows at Black Box:

· Wednesdays: Non-stop, back-to-back improv with various performers

· Thursdays: Shows with improv troupes Last Night In and Directors Cut

· Fridays: Improv from Low Hanging Fruit followed by a special show

· Saturdays: Improv from Reverse Mortgage followed by a special show

When: Wednesdays through Saturdays

Where: The Black Box Improv Theater, 18 E. Third St., Dayton

Cost: From $5 to $15

More info: Tickets | Website

Small Business Saturday event

Every month the theater works with a local business owner to help make the community aware of the business and to have a laugh. The featured business in March is Higher Level Athletic Fitness. The owner will participate in the improv shows.

When: Saturday, March 19, 8 p.m.

Where: The Black Box Improv Theater, 18 E. Third St., Dayton

Cost: $15

More info: Tickets | Website

New Level 1 Improv Class

Experience the power of play and the fun of improvisational comedy in a safe and inclusive environment. The theater offers a complete training program, providing students with a strong foundation in improvisation that promotes creativity and personal growth. The class lasts for eight weeks.

When: Tuesday, March 29, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Where: The Black Box Improv Theater, 18 E. Third St., Dayton

Cost: $175

More info: Register | Website

Kidprov Summer Camp

This five-day experience over the summer is for kids (ages 8-12 and 13-18) to try their hand at improv right in their backyard. Each student will play their hearts out learning the power of listening, character building, and something in the improv world known as “yes, and.” At the end of the week, there will be a showcase show performed by the students for friends and family.

When: For ages 13-18, July 18-23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For ages 8-12: July 25-30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: The Black Box Improv Theater, 18 E. Third St., Dayton

Cost: $350

More info: Register | Website

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Local comedians Karen Jaffe and Luke Capasso. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Local comedians Karen Jaffe and Luke Capasso. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Local comedians Karen Jaffe and Luke Capasso. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

PLAZA THEATRE

Plaza Theatre will host a Live Comedy Show this month featuring local comedians Luke Capasso and Karen Jaffe. Larry Hansgen serves as comedian emcee.

When: Wednesday, March 30, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Plaza Theatre, 33 S. Main St., Miamisburg

Cost: $5

More info: Website| Facebook

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