Out for Laughs

Evenings in the desert just got funnier



Jonathan Winters

Mccallum Theatre

For a great night out, you need at least a few good laughs. Happily, the Coachella Valley offers some terrific spots to enjoy a giggle or two. From comedy superstars at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa’s The Show to the vaudevillian shtick of Riff Markowitz at The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, you can catch a comedian almost any night of the week.

The valley’s only dedicated comedy venue is Improv Comedy Club at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. In season, the Improv presents three shows each weekend: 9 p.m. on Fridays, 8 and 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Each show features a pair of up-and-coming comics followed by an established headliner. Dat Phan, Lachlan Patterson, Jeff Garcia, Joe Starr, Allen Havey, and John Diresta are just a few of this season’s featured performers. However, to tickle this funny bone, you must be 21 or older. 84245 Indio Springs Pkwy., Indio. 1-800-827-2946; www.fantasyspringsresort.com

Another affordable venue for great standup is Comedy Night at Azul Tapas lounge, a monthly show importing the hottest comics from Los Angeles and New York. Comedy Night features three comics per show, each one a headliner. Performers appearing this fall include Carlease Burke (The Backup Plan, Get Shorty); Dana Eagle (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson); Jen Kober (Curb Your Enthusiasm); and Fortune Feimster (Chelsea Lately, Last Comic Standing). Dinner and drinks are available. Reservations are strongly recommended, and there is a cover charge. 369 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 1-760-325-5533; www.azultapaslounge.com

The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies isn’t a traditional standup venue, but the show’s founder and emcee Riff Markowitz delivers nonstop one-liners that scream classic comedy at its finest. 128 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 1-760-327-0225; www.psfollies.com.

McCallum theatre presents a number of comedy acts each season. Catskills on Broadway rolls into town Jan. 16, bringing the rapid-fire comedy of veteran performers Freddie Roman, Dick Capri, and Mal Z. Lawrence. On Jan. 22, Jonathan Winters brings his bizarre brand of improvisational genius to the desert. Kathy Griffin makes her annual X-rated appearance on Feb. 10 and 11; Lily Tomlin returns to the McCallum on March 17 and 18; and Larry King performs  —  standing up for a change —  on March 25. 73000 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert. 1-760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com

If you’re looking for comedy dynamite, visit The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa. Each year The Show books the biggest names in the business. Veteran funnyman Don Rickles hits The Show on Oct. 15. Other funny folks and performers are on the comedy horizon. (Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, and Carlos Mencia are regulars at The Show.) 32250 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage. 1-888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa just added Joan “Can we talk?” Rivers to its fall lineup. The diva of direct hits blows into the Cabazon casino on Oct. 23. 49500 Seminole Dr., Cabazon. 1-800-252-4499, 951-849-3080; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

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