Currently co-starring in the slapstick hit Super Troopers 2 – a movie that earned back its $13.5 million budget in its first three days of release – comedians Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme take the stage at the Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center on May 4, treating fans to a night of hilarious reminiscences on their lives, careers, and history as members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe.

One of the most beloved forces in comedy, comic books, movies, and podcasting visits Maquoketa's Codfish Hollow Barn for two April 28 performances of An Evening with Kevin Smith – 7 and 11 p.m. presentations and Q&A sessions featuring the legendary, baseball-cap-wearing indie filmmaker, author, and “Silent Bob” icon.

Sports, laughs, and loads of pop-culture references are sure to be on hand when Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort hosts an April 21 evening with touring comedian and frequent TV personality Frank Caliendo, whose list of famed impressions includes those of actors Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Robert De Niro; politicians Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama; broadcasters John Madden, Charles Barkley, and Jon Gruden; and talk show hosts Dr. Phil, Jay Leno, and David Letterman.

Up in Smoke. Los Cochinos. “Dave's not here, man.” Ask any fan of classic comedy who those titles and that phrase bring to mind, and you'll be told “Cheech & Chong” – the legendary duo of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong whose 2017 North American tour brings them to Davenport's Rhythm City Casino on October 20.

Described by comedian, podcast host, and New York Times bestselling author Marc Maron as “a gonzo warrior” and “one of the great American wild men,” standup comedian Kreischer makes a stop at Augustana prior to a fall tour that will find him traveling the country from Irvine, California, to Tampa, Florida.

In a momentary break from touring independent musicians, Davenport's latest Moeller Nights event will showcase the stylings of touring comedian Kristen Toomey, co-star of writer/director Dale Zawada's summer comedy Dirtbags.

People pursue careers in comedy for all sorts of reasons: to make others laugh, to express opinions, to get back at their parents. (That last one is just speculation, Mom and Dad.) But as stand-up comedian Kyle Kinane tells it, his motivation was simpler: to do as little as possible.

“As a kid, comedy was something I watched on TV,” says Kinane during our recent interview. “And I couldn’t really understand how it worked, because somebody would just talk, and that was it. You didn’t have to act, you didn’t have to do stunts – you just talked, by yourself, and people would laugh, and that was a job. I was pretty fascinated with that, and, when I first started, I think I knew I was gonna do it forever.”

Yet for someone who attended college because he thought “if you didn’t go, you had to get a real job, and I didn’t want one of those,” Kinane’s job has found him doing far more than he initially expected.

Jim Florentine in Louie

On the final episode of the most recent season of FX’s comedy Louie, star Louis C.K.’s alter ego was performing stand-up in Oklahoma City, and forced to share a condo with his opening act, a hack comedian named Kenny. At first, Kenny seemed awful: He drank whiskey in the morning; he gave his barely legal chauffeur sexually explicit advice; his stand-up set was rife with masturbation and fart jokes (which, to Louie’s mortification, positively killed).

Tammy PescatelliIt’s 8:08 a.m. when comedian and former Quad Cities resident Tammy Pescatelli calls for our arranged interview, and right off the bat, she apologizes, unnecessarily, for running eight minutes behind schedule.

“I’m calling you late because the principal from my son’s school called,” she says. “Whenever you hear that the principal is calling, you get nervous. First, you see that the school is calling, so you’re like, ‘Oh no ... is he sick?’ And then when it’s the principal, you’re like, ‘Oh, God ... what now?’ I mean, he’s never been in trouble, but you know ... . You become a kid when the principal calls your house.”

It turned out, however, that the principal was calling with good news: Pescatelli’s son Luca, who turns eight on February 26, had qualified for the gifted program. I tell her that’s great, and also congratulate Pescatelli on her 2013 comedy special Finding the Funny, the Netflix-streaming title I’ve viewed and enjoyed numerous times over.

“Then you know how excited I am to find out that my son’s in the gifted program,” she says upon hearing that I’ve seen her stand-up act. “’Cause you know the other side of his genes.”

George Strader, Andrew King, and Patrick Adamson"Is that ahi tuna?"

"No. It's a-ha tuna. This is a comedy interview."

So went a not-atypical exchange during my recent conversation with area comedians George Strader, Patrick Adamson, and Andrew King. (It was George who asked about the tuna and Patrick who ordered it. If you were wondering, Andrew had a burger.) But while the jokes and laughs tended to come fast and furious during our chat, there was one thing this trio was dead-serious about: The Quad Cities' comedy scene has, since the beginning of this decade, been enjoying a pretty dramatic renaissance. A pretty inspiring one, too.