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A summer of stand-up comedy in New Orleans

Alex Woodward on Dave Attell, Rob Delaney, Paul Mooney and all the comics coming to town



Hometown hero Sean Patton debuted his Comedy Central half-hour special last week, and popular comics Kyle Kinane, Anthony Jeselnik and Hannibal Buress recently wrapped headlining gigs across New Orleans. The standup comedy schedule continues to heats up this summer. Here Gambit previews the not-to-miss gigs from up-and-coming comedy stars and veteran comics hitting New Orleans stages.

Doug Benson
9 p.m. Thursday, June 27

The Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St. (504) 529-5844;
Tickets $15

  From one-off acting gigs to Friends to a role as standup comedy's endearing smug stoner, the life and (very, very high) times of Doug Benson hit a high with the 2007 pseudo-documentary Super High Me, in which Benson smoked pot for 30 days (a la McDonald's antagonist Morgan Spurlock in 2004's Super Size Me). Benson hosts the popular podcast Doug Loves Movies and Comedy Central series The Benson Interruption, in which he playfully jabs at fellow comics trying to get through their acts. Next month, he'll release another one-hour special, Gateway Doug — recorded April 20, of course.

Rob Delaney
7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27

The New Movement, 1919 Burgundy St. (504) 302-8264;
Tickets $20

  King of Twitter Rob Delaney exploded into Internet comedy fame with his brief, unhinged dispatches. He's routinely listed among publications' "who to follow on Twitter" lists, from Paste to Time. In May 2012, Comedy Central named him the "funniest person on Twitter," and his growing follower count tops 870,000. His IRL resume includes routinely sold-out shows at his homebase at Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles, a sobering and hilarious column for Vice, and, of course, his stand-up, which combines his absurd wit with his otherwise "regular guy" persona. He released his hour-long special Live at the Bowery Ballroom earlier this year.

Dave Attell
8 p.m. Friday, June 28 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St. (504) 569-8361;
Tickets $25

  Dave Attell's more than 20 years in comedy includes countless stand-up specials and late-night TV appearances, a stint in the writers' room at Saturday Night Live, hosting Comedy Central's drunk wanderlust city guide Insomniac and, more recently, inviting fellow comics to goof on vintage pornography for his web series Dave's Old Porn. The New York comedian emerged from the late-'80s club comic heyday and grabbed the attention of David Letterman, Lorne Michaels and, later, The Daily Show. He has spent the last few years back on the road.

JT Habersaat
9 p.m. Saturday, June 29
The New Movement, 1919 Burgundy St. (504) 302-8264;
Tickets $7

  "DIY" stand-up J.T. Habersaat, who helms the Altercation Punk Comedy Tour, is a regular opener for punk bands and at punk festivals. Altercation Punk's latest album, Hostile Corporate Takeover (with album art by Black Flag and Sonic Youth house artist Raymond Pettibon), captures the van full of touring punks assaulting a comedy stage rather than guitars and drums. The Austin, Texas, comic also is an author and regular columnist for Amp and New Noise magazines.

Paul Mooney
9 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4
The Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St. (504) 529-5844;
Tickets $25

  Whether an onstage star or a ringer on the sidelines, echoed in his 2012 special The Godfather of Comedy, Paul Mooney isn't one to shy away from controversy. Once a writer for Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx and In Living Color, Mooney made headlines for his joke in the wake of the Boston bombings ("as long as no blacks got hurt"). Before that, he got attention for a joke during the 2005 BET Comedy Awards, during which he doubled down on comments about the legal and drinking problems of several black celebrities. The Shreveport native has the chops to handle the heat, with a few decades in the business — Dave Chappelle introduced Mooney to the younger set on Chappelle's Show for popular segments "Negrodamus" and "ask a black dude."

Pete Holmes
9 p.m. Thursday, July 11
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave. (504) 895-8477;
Tickets $17

  Pete Holmes — the joy-seeking, unironic cut-up whose jokes feel conversational and off the cuff — is balanced by Pete Holmes the humble, sometimes cerebral "good guy," though his volume and energy knobs twist and turn as laughs roll out. Holmes already has infiltrated millions of homes, brains and water coolers — it's his voice you hear coming out of the E*TRADE baby in the company's commercials. The 34-year-old New Englander is riding critical success for his 2013 album Nice Try, The Devil, and he's set to take the desk at an unnamed late-night TBS show later this year. Holmes also hosts the popular podcast You Made It Weird, in which he shares a few bizarre conversations with his celebrity guests.

W. Kamau Bell
9 p.m. Thursday, July 25
The Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St. (504) 529-5844;
Tickets $25

  Comic kingmaker Chris Rock "discovered" W. Kamau Bell, who hosts the critical hit Totally Biased on FX, with Rock signed on as executive producer. The show debuted last year to solid reviews — Bell and his crew target current events with slick commentary, followed by interviews with guests ranging from MSNBC hosts Melissa Harris-Perry and Rachel Maddow to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Bell made his New Orleans debut at Hell Yes Fest in 2011 with his politically charged comedy group Laughter Against the Machine. As a stand-up, Bell (named "the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years" by The New York Times in 2012) has been praised for his kneecapping of the sociological strata and smart, pointed barbs about race relations, politics and the media.

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