While it might not seem like there’s a whole lot to laugh about right now, a little bit of comic relief can’t hurt. If you’re seeking a short reprieve from disease and despair, here are four virtual comedy events to consider.
Camera Tricks by Ben Seidman
Can you recognize a magic feat done through trick photography? Test your B.S.-detector skills in an interactive virtual magic experience with magician and comedian Ben Seidman, who consulted on the A&A show Mindfreak for three seasons before embarking on his own illusionist career – one that’s included an appearance on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us and a guest starring role on Netflix’s Brainchild. Seidman’s Camera Tricks, presented by Mesa Arts Center and Mills Entertainment, will keep at-home audiences guessing. Only one of the feats he performs in the show is achieved through trick photography, and it will be up to viewers to believe their own eyes – or not. Performances take place June 9 through 14. Passes to access the live streaming event cost $37.50 plus fees per device and can be purchased at mesaartscenter.com.
Improvmania Comedy’s Friday Night Live
Like many venues, Chandler-based club Improvmania Comedy had to temporarily close due to coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean the show can’t go on – or off on just about anything. Live, unfiltered, unrehearsed, and now online, Improvmania Comedy’s Friday Night Live show brings the brightest and brashest local comics to the virtual stage for off-the-wall and off-the-cuff laughs. Live shows start at 7 p.m. on the Improvmania Comedy Facebook page. There’s a recommended donation of $15 per person to the Improv Mania Comedy GoFundMe fundraiser.
All Puppet Players
As you might surmise from the title, All Puppet Players’ The Twisted and Fisted Show is for adults only. The Phoenix-based troupe of irreverent “puppet anarchists” puts on a free show online every Monday that’s a great way to end a crappy day (or top off a good day). Imagine cramming a blender full of Monty Python, low-budget clips, snort-worthy sketches, telethons and puppets – it’s a smoothie that will get you in the back of your throat and have you gagging with laughter. The Twisted and Fisted Show starts at 8 p.m. every Monday on the group’s YouTube page.
Bird City Comedy Festival events
Since the annual local Bird City Comedy Festival will likely not go on as planned, the Phoenix-based comedy collective has been hosting two weekly shows, The Little Bird Showcase – At Home (Thursdays at 8 p.m.) and The Birdcage – At Home (Saturdays at 8 p.m.), live on Facebook. The Little Bird Showcase is an open mic for open minds, while The Birdcage features laughs from the Valley’s up-and-coming comedians. Pay-what-you-can admission.