Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25
Downtown Davenport IA
More than two dozen local, regional, and national comedians will be bringing the funny to this year's Alternating Currents festival, with August 24 and 25 standup sets – plus one hilariously awful movie – scheduled to make patrons roar with laughter at four venues in downtown Davenport.
At the Great River Brewery (332 East Second Street), the evenings of August 24 and 25 will be chock-full of comedians participating in the 6 p.m. Ha Ha Happy Hours. Friday's event will be hosted by Quad Cities comedian James Draper and will feature five standups on the bill: Noah Innis, a veteran performer of Des Moines' Vaudeville Mews; Mitch Banks, based in Marion, Iowa; Daniel Frana, who hosts monthly shows at Iowa City's The Mill and Blue Moose Taphouse; Mike Lucas, winner of last year's Illinois Laugh Hard Challenge; and Travis Bails, a regular emcee at Penguin's Comedy Club in Cedar Rapids.
Saturday's Ha Ha Happy Hour will be hosted by area comedian and musician Bobby Ray Bunch, with the scheduled lineup including the previous night's host Draper and five additional comics: Alex Carter, co-host of the Let's Ruin Our Childhood podcast; Max Power, a comedian based in Ames, Iowa; Sophia Smarandescu, a co-producer of DG's Taphouse Comedy Showcase in Ames; Justin Bulver, a Des Moines comedian who frequently tours the Midwest; and Luke Swanson, a standup originally from Park View, Iowa.
Davenport's Me & Billy (200 West Third Street) will host its own lineups of comedians in three Comedy Block sets taking place on Friday and Saturday. On August 24, Travis Bails hosts a 9 p.m. showcase with the aforementioned Banks, Frana, Swanson, and a pair of additional comedians: Jessica Misra, the Iowa City-based standup who hosts the Hitchhike Open Mic at High Grounds and co-producers the Floodwater Comedy Festival; and Trent Struzynski, a fellow Iowa City resident who co-hosts the podcast Batman 'n' Batman's Wall of Shame.
On August 25, Me & Billy's 7 p.m. Comedy Block will be hosted by Donny Townsend, recent first-place winner of the Laugh Hard Comedy Competition at the Circa '21 Speakeasy, with the lineup including Smarandescu, Power, Carter, and a pair of Iowa comics: James Doyle, co-producer of Des Moines' Panic! At the Basement and For Real, for Sure; and Dan Umthun, who has produced Des Moines' Underground Comedy Open Mic for the past 10 years. Meanwhile, at 9 p.m., Me & Billy's and emcee Doyle will host another Comedy Block, this one featuring Smarandescu, Umthun, Bunch, the Des Moines-based Tommy Morgan Jr., and Zach Martina, who has shared stages with the likes of Dave Chappelle, Hannibal Burness, and Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie.
Davenport venue Front Street Brewery (421 West River Drive) will begin its laugh-filled weekend on August 24 with the 7 p.m. Getting Weird with Andrew Cline, a set that finds the Orion-based comedian hosting Misra, Innis, Struzynski, and a pair of fellow standups: Jen Kuhle, a recent addition to lineup at Rock Island's ComedySportz; and Chris Schlichting, a veteran of the Village of East Davenport's Gas Feed & Seed Festival and the Codfish Hollow Barn's Turnbuckle Comedy & Music Festival. Then, at 9 p.m., Townsend hosts a Front Street Brewery Comedy Block with sets by Lucas, Kuhle, Martina, and Allen Strcikland Williams, the latter a two-time guest on Conan who was recently named one of Comedy Central's “Comics to Watch.” Saturday's 9 p.m. Comedy Block, meanwhile, will be hosted by Schlichting and will boast sets with Williams, Morgan, Bulver, and two additional comedians: Ryan de la Garza, known for his Web-cam comedy experience You Had to Be There; and Brenna Grabow, visiting the Quad Cities from her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Finally, for those seeking a comedy experience in the vein of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Davenport's Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel (303 East Third Street) invites you to an August 24 screening of the 1967 cult classic Prehistoric Women, a laughably horrible movie whose 11 p.m. screening will boast running comedic commentary by local comedians Donny Townsend, Nick Mielke, and Andrew Cline.
For more information on comedy events at this year's Alternating Currents festival, visit AlternatingCurrentsQC.com/comedy.