Mark Ciemcioch
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Mark Ciemcioch

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Buffalo audiences are likely to get the best of comedian George Lopez when he performs two sold-out shows at Helium Comedy Club July 20. Lopez will work out new material for a future HBO special at Helium. The best time to catch a comedian is just before he or she records a new special, as the jokes the comic has written and honed are nearly complete. As of late, Lop…

There can be laughs aplenty found in Buffalo with a number of comedy shows booked in mid-July. Here are some highlights: Rochester comedian Dan Viola has opened for Jon Stewart and Steven Wright, but he comes to town as a headliner. Viola draws on his experience as a father of seven children to connect with any audience with his family-friendly comedy. He also has worke…

If the first few weeks of July are any indication, there is a comedy show designed to appeal to everyone. Fans of traditional standup comedy should check out Sommore, who performs at 8 p.m. July 8 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). Sommore has taken her comedy with sets on “ComicView,” “Def Comedy Jam” and the “Queens of Comedy” tour to the s…

Considering Michelle Wolf has less than a decade in the game, she’s one of comedy’s brightest – and fastest – growing stars. After Wolf endured working on Wall Street at the height of the market crash in 2008, she took that anxiety into an improv class and never looked back. She was quickly hired as a performer and writing supervisor for “Late Night with Seth Mye…

As a kid growing up in Oswego, Owen Benjamin loved watching comedians such as Adam Sandler. Now a comic himself, Benjamin tours the country as a headliner with appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night” and “Inside Amy Schumer.” He performs on July 6 at the Seneca Niagara Casino for a “Barrel of Laughs” with Mike Lawrence. During a recent phone conv…

As June comes to a close, it’s another busy comedy week for Buffalo. Here are our top picks: Paula Poundstone, 7 p.m. June 30 at Asbury Hall at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). Many people remember Poundstone from the comedy boom of the 1980s. She’s still hitting stand-up stages, has released a  new book, “The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happ…

After years of earning runner-up status, 38-year-old comedian Jameel Key took the crown of “Buffalo’s Funniest Person” during the finals of the fifth annual contest at Helium Comedy Club Wednesday night. Key, who works as an auto parts salesman, has performed stand-up comedy regularly for several years. With his victory, Key wins $1,200 and an opportunity to perfo…

The comedy scene is also heating up in late June, as a number of shows are booked throughout the area. Here are your best bets during the week of June 22-28. Kevin Hart has become a comedy superstar and has used his fame to turn the spotlight on the up-and-coming Plastic Cup Boyz. The group, comprised of Jonathan Martin, Spank Horton and Na’im Lynn, have toured as the…

Few people could have predicted how massive the “Star Wars” phenomenon would become when it was released 40 years ago. It certainly boosted the profile of Peter Mayhew, the 7’3” English actor who played the iconic Chewbacca in the space adventure series. Mayhew will be one of the featured guests at Niagara Falls Comic Con June 2-4. During a recent phone intervie…

There will be laughs throughout the area during the first week of June. Here are your best bets: Two outrageous and hilarious national comedians headline a doublebill at the Barrel of Laughs Comedy Night at 8 p.m. June 1 in the Bear's Den in the Seneca Niagara Casino. Boston native Nick DiPaolo has honed his biting, sarcastic point of view with appearances on “The …

Ready to get your laugh on? There are several comedy options for you this weekend. • Former “Def Comedy Jam” and “Queens of Comedy” star Adele Givens headlines a weekend of shows at Helium Comedy Club (30 Mississippi). A Chicago native, Givens quickly won a comedy contest in the Windy City and went on to be featured in HBO’s long-running “Def Comedy Jam”…

If you’re a fan of franchise movies and genre shows, you probably have one, two or all of these dates circled on the calendar. Here are all the sci-fi, fantasy and comics-based films and television shows set to debut this summer. At the movies “Alien: Covenant,” May 19. Director Ridley Scott helms another film in the science-fiction franchise he helped create i…

It wasn’t too long ago that "Star Trek" fans were mocked, "Star Wars" was irrelevant, and comic book readers had to hide their hobby past the age of 12. A lot has changed over the past 15 years. Geek culture is now popular culture. There are at least five major fan conventions in the area through September with notable celebrities. Among the highlights: William Sha…

As superheroes and sci-fi heroes continue to dominate movie screens during the summer, many local fan events are filling up the calendar featuring celebrity guests, costumes and even baseball. “Flash Gordon,” 7 p.m. May 18 at the North Park Theatre. The 1980 sci-fi pulp film with the classic Queen soundtrack returns with a special screening at the North Park Theatre…

Kyle Kinane hasn’t just been on Comedy Central with half-hour specials and appearances on shows like “@midnight” and “Drunk History.” He is the voice of Comedy Central, as you can hear him during channel promos and commercials. He returns to Buffalo for five shows at Helium Comedy Club from May 18-20. The comedian is a popular guest on several podcasts with la…