Between the G20 Summit and North Korean missiles, there’s not a lot to laugh at this month. Perhaps, this rowdy handful of local comedy shows could help ease the pain. From former Philadelphians Tim and Eric coming through town on tour to Pauly Shore doing a string of shows at Helium, there's something for everybody this month.
Jo Firestone (July 15, Good Good Comedy)
If you don’t know her name, don’t panic. Firestone has been a behind the scenes force of nature, producing and writing for fellow comedians Chris Gethard, Brett Davis and, since last year, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” She’s also been a guest star on “The Jim Gaffigan Show” and Comedy Central’s “Broad City.” In New York City’s stand up and sketch scene, however, Firestone is a goddess who has performed during Upright Citizen Brigade events and created the pun-based live show “Punderdome 3000,” which now has its own card game of the same name. Add to that her recent addition to “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of 10 Comedians You Need To Know, and Firestone’s literary whip-smart humor is hands above the rest. Sat. July 15 at 8 and 10 p.m., Good Good Comedy, 215 N. 11th St., $12, goodgoodcomedy.com
Joe DeRosa (July 14 and 15, Punch Line)
Along with a recurring role on AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” and guest appearances on Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and FX’s “Louie,” Philly’s own Joe DeRosa — a progenitor of easily frustrated working class humor and its travails — is proudly behind one of the grand traditions of stand-up comedy in that he has a slew of self-made albums under his belt such as “The Depression Auction,” “You Will Die” and “Mistakes Were Made: The B-Sides.” Bravo. Fri and Sat, July 14 and 15 at 9:45 p.m. at Punch Line Philly, 33 E Laurel St., $20, punchlinephilly.com
Tim and Eric: 10th Anniversary Awesome Tour (July 20, Merriam Theater)
Philadelphia expatriates Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have spent most of the last several years apart, with Tim recording mellow rock albums and starring in Adult Swim’s “Decker” and Wareheim co-starring as Aziz Ansari’s wing man in Netflix’s “Master of None” and directing music videos for Depeche Mode, Blonde Redhead and such. Good for them. Now, it’s time to get back to the work of short, maddeningly absurdist skits and cut-and-pasted videos the likes of which have filled their own shows such as “Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule” (starring John C. Reilly), “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories” and “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,” as well as the pair’s irregular contributions to the Funny or Die website. Welcome home, gents. Thurs. July 20 at 8 p.m., Merriam Theater, 250 S Broad St. $42.50-$47.50, kimmelcenter.org
Pauly Shore (July 21-22, Helium)
Beyond his fame in the 1990s as the bandana-wearing star of the MTV show, "Totally Pauly” and its annoying “hey buuuuuuuddy” catchphrase, the quintessential Los Angeles stand-up comedian has a legacy beyond all other comics, as his mom Mitzi Shore founded The Comedy Store, the place that birthed the likes of Leno and Letterman. Love Pauly or hate him, you have to give him his props and respect. Plus, more recent specials such as "Vegas Is My Oyster" and "Pauly-Tics” show that he’s moved past the Valley Guy speak of his past.
Fri. and Sat. July 21 and 22, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., $25, heliumcomedy.com
ComedySportz 25th anniversary shows (July 22, Mandell Theater)
Philadelphia's longest-running sketch comedy show and challenge (every event is a battle royale between teams of performers) has its 25th birthday this month and rather than celebrate at its usual Sansom Street digs, over 40 players from the over-sized company’s quarter century existence will gather at Drexel University’s Mandell Theater for two large-scale matches. Sat. July 22 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Drexel University’s Mandell Theater, 3201 Chestnut St., $25 for adults, $22 for students, seniors, and military with a valid ID., comedysportzphilly.com
Christopher Titus (July 27 and 28, Helium)
If any comic helped put the FOX network on the map it was Christopher Titus whose autobiographical television program "Titus” (2000-2002) was one of the most palpably dysfunctional family shows ever — comedy or dramedy. By each half hour show’s end, you knew where the scarred, caustic Titus stood in regard to his childhood, his romances and all issues of trust. His stand-up comedy shows are no less forgiving. Thurs and Fri, July 27 (8 p.m.) and July 28 (7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.), Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., $25-$27, heliumcomedy.com