"Best" is relative, much like what you find funny. That's why each month we will be recommending a varied number of comedy events -- some sketch, some improv, some standup and some all-of-the-above -- and calling them the best. Should you be in search of a laugh or willing to take a risk on humor, this is the list for you.
2015 has greeted comedy in St. Louis with a jumping high-five. A barrage of once-local, now funny and famous people are making their way back to town to share their successes with you. Whether you seek a laugh-a-minute guarantee or a comfortable bar to sit and listen in, it's all here and it's all for jokes.
Improvised Missed Connections Every Friday at the Improv Shop 10 p.m. | $5
The Improv Shop's latest weekly event is precisely what it sounds like: improvised Missed Connections. A team reads a Craigslist Missed Connection ad and then improvises a scenario of just what went down. Each week's show will feature a rotating lineup, so in the spirit and standard of improv, you'll never get the same show twice.
Also on Fridays at the Shop is a show dubbed Let's Make a Scene: An Improvised Game Show. Once again leaving little room for confusion, the show is also exactly what you would expect from the title. So if audience participation is more your speed, these are the shows for you. Let's Make a Scene precedes Improvised Missed Connections at 8 p.m.
Art Bar Standup Stand Off Saturday, January 17, at Art Bar 9 p.m. | $3
The comics are all in it together just as much as they're in it to win it. There's no medal or physical trophy, but there are certainly bragging rights to be had. Art Bar's Standup Stand Off features a handful of St. Louis' committed and stage-hungry standup comedians duking it out with their jokes, for your pleasure. This month's ringleader and host is Nathan Orton, a kid who has options but chose comedy -- and once you see him perform, you'll be glad he did.
Luke Ashlocke Friday, January 16, at the Elvis Room 8 p.m. | $8
Bearded, charming and hilarious is certainly one way to go through life, and there's no doubt that Luke Ashlocke is capitalizing on that hand he was dealt. An international road warrior, Ashlocke has learned how to break down the fundamentals of a joke so that his humor may be shared with individuals of varying cultures and ideologies alike. His stories and musings are drawn from life but are not without embellishments, because after all, if a man had only the desire to be honest, he probably wouldn't choose a room full of strangers to which to bear his soul.