By Adrian Schramm

Minnesotans have a pretty dry sense of humor in general. Maybe it’s from spending cold winters inside, but it takes a lot to make us laugh. That isn’t a bad thing. Quite the opposite, actually. It makes us true connoisseurs of good comedy. We know what’s worth the wrinkles. There are some truly great shows coming up as the cold of winter fades away, featuring industry legends and Lutheran parodies alike for a springtime spectacular.

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Chris Rock (credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Chris Rock (credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Chris Rock
Orpheum Theater
910 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
1-800-982-2787
www.hennepintheatretrust.org

Date: March 10, 2017 at 8 p.m.

The first tour for the legendary comedian in 9 nine years (9 years!) makes this a must-see. Chris Rock’s poignant, witty take down of societal norms, social cues, and the status quo make him one of the most important comics working today. Perhaps it is the changing times that brought Chris Rock back to the limelight, as, after a tumultuous 2016 there is plenty to say. Or perhaps he just misses his fans. Well, his fans certainly miss him as well. Better get your tickets quick.

Russel Howard
Varsity Theater
1308 S.E. 4th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 604-0222
www.varsitytheater.org

Date: May 14, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

The world looks very different through they eyes of Russell Howard. It manages to be both a little brighter, and a little dirtier, when this up-and-coming Brit talks about it. He has gained fame for his energy, and his uncommonly cheerful brand of humor; the kind of guy that will insult your shoes, but make you feel good while he does it. Unique, perhaps, or maybe they just know something in Britain that we don’t. Whatever the case, the Minnesota leg of his “Round the World” tour is one that you won’t want to miss.

Lewis Black (credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Lewis Black (credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Lewis Black
Pantages Theater
710 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
1-800-982-2787
www.hennepintheatretrust.org

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Date: March 31, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

We talk about the cynical nature of some of the other comics on this list, but none more so than that of Lewis Black. No one is more tired of the world, and all the silliness in it, than he is. Good thing he is also a comic genius. His hilariously bitter commentary and biting wit has brings to light all the things we wish we could say, but don’t have the nerve to. He’s been touring for decades now, but the veteran comic shows no signs of slowing down on his “The Rant is Due” tour. This show should be exactly what you need after surviving a Minnesota winter.

Related: Best Places To See Stand Up Comedy In Minnesota

The Church Basement Ladies In Rise Up O Men
Plymouth Playhouse
2705 Annapolis Lane N.
Plymouth, MN 55441
763-553-1600
www.plymouthplayhouse.com

Date: Through Apr. 8, 2017

Take a break from all the stand-up comedy and enjoy some wholesome laughs with the Church Basement Ladies. This show will hit close to home for anyone who knows Minnesota (and Minnesota stereotypes). When the men come in to talk shop, they disrupt the natural order of the kitchen. Hilarity ensues, of course. We won’t tell you more than that, as you’ll have to see for yourself, but the ever-reliable Church Basement Ladies have brought the men along for songs and laughs aplenty.

Steve Martin & Martin Short (credit: Chris Weeks/FilmMagic/Getty))

Steve Martin & Martin Short (credit: Chris Weeks/FilmMagic/Getty))

Steve Martin & Martin Short
Orpheum Theater
910 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
1-800-982-2787
www.hennepintheatretrust.org

Date: May 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. and May 19, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

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A legendary comic duo. There’s not much more to be said about either Steve Martin or Martin Short, they’ve done about everything possible to ensure their place as national comedian treasures. But together? Can anything beat that? Also, Steve Martin’s banjo skills will be on full display, which would be worth the price of admission even if you weren’t guaranteed a night of laughs as well. Comedy and bluegrass should come together more often, As should Martin Short and Steve Martin. This promises to be a very special night.

Related: Best Theaters In Minnesota