Once confined to nightclubs, stand-up comedy has broken into big legitimate theater venues in recent years, and Nippertown is hosting a major Yuk-a-Palooza over the course of the next two weekends with A-listers as well as up-and-comers, so if you’re in need of a few laughs in the face of a shamefully dysfunctional Congress, the demise of the New York City Opera, the end of “Breaking Bad” or the Mets sitting out the play-off season once again, chances are there’s something out there at a theater near you that will strike your funny bone:
8pm Saturday (October 5)
The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
$26, $29 & $34
An NPR favorite with commentaries on “Morning Edition” as well as her witty repartee as a panelist on the award-winning weekly news quiz show, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,” Poundstone brings a casual attitude, impeccable timing and razor-sharp wit to her stand-up routine, including her masterful improvisations with audience members.
7pm Friday (October 4)
The Palace Theatre, Albany
$48, $63 & $78
Hailed for his uncanny ability to joke about the little things in life that relate to audiences everywhere, Seinfeld even makes “nothing” seem funny.
7:30pm & 9:30pm Friday & Saturday (October 4 & 5)
The Comedy Works, Albany
$30 in advance; $35 at the door
Yes, there’s still plenty of comedy to be found in the clubs, too, including big names like Gottfried, who just might be the anti-Seinfeld. As Penn Jillette has declared about Gottfried’s “Rubber Balls and Liquor,” “He is the comic genius of our generation. This book proves he is the Picasso of the Cubist dick joke.”
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC
8pm Sunday (October 6)
The Calvin Theatre, Northampton
$28.50, $38.50 & $48.50
Novelty acts have a notoriously short shelf life, but the accordion-squeezing pop parodist has had an enduring popularity, from Dr. Demento mainstay to MTV classic video spoofs.
8pm Saturday, October 12
The Egg, Albany
The big guy of stand-up had to cancel his scheduled appearance at The Egg last October due to illness, but he’ll finally make his way into The Egg’s spotlight a year later, in support of his latest DVD release, “Too Big to Ignore.”
LADIES OF LAUGHTER: FUNNY & FABULOUS
8pm Saturday, October 12
$20, $25, $30 & $35
Chris Rich, Leighann Lord, Patty Rosborough and Regina DeCicco… four funny ladies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll pee a little.
7pm Sunday, October 13
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington
$80, $150 & $250
From Why Is There Air? to “I Spy,” From “Mother, Jugs & Speed” to “The Cosby Show,” from Fat Albert to Jell-O Pudding Pops, the sweater-clad Grand Old Man of Comedy steps into the spotlight for a performance to benefit the Mahaiwe.