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A full slate of comedy: past and present

If laughter is the best medicine, then we must be feeling great around here these days. Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Rob Schneider, Gilbert Gottfried, Sandra Bernhard, David Sedaris and even ventriloquist Jeff Dunham are some of the big names that had us laughing last year, often filling venues to capacity.

In recent weeks at the UB Center for the Arts, Adam Carolla did a live broadcast of his popular podcast and Lisa Lampanelli gave four performances of what she hopes will become a Broadway show in the fall.

On Saturday, two distinct female comics – Joy Behar and Lea Delaria – are here (see an interview with Delaria on Page 10). In the next couple of weeks, Helium Comedy Club hosts Gary Gulman from NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” (today through Saturday), Judah Friedlander (next Thursday through Feb. 22) and Dana Gould, a producer of “The Simpsons” (Feb. 27 through March 1).

Also coming up is “Inside Amy Schumer’s Backdoor Tour” at 8 p.m. March 12 in UB’s Center for the Arts and Jay Leno at 8 p.m. April 5 in the Seneca Niagara Casino Events Center.

Here are review clips from some of 2013’s big guns:

Bill Cosby (March 15, Kleinhans Music Hall)

“Rather than a big-time star on an untouchable stage, Cosby seemed like he was sitting across your dinner table, one of your funniest and quirkiest friends, simply stopping by for a visit.”

– Kristy Kibler

Drew Carey (July 6, Seneca Niagara Casino Events Center)

“Carey’s material was honed over the past year and culled over a lifetime. Humanity, in the world of blue Drew, appears in all its unfettered, crass and primal nakedness. Read: most of his hilarity, and observations, are unprintable. Drew Carey is a Good Time Charlie with a pervasive sweetness, so jokes swerve before careening into deep ruts of vulgarity.”

– Nancy J. Parisi

Margaret Cho (Sept. 21-22, Helium)

“Cho’s rollicking hourlong performance was equal parts matter-of-fact sex-ed class, bon vivant life coaching and group true confessional.”

– Nancy J. Parisi

Jerry Seinfeld (Nov. 8, Shea’s Performing Arts Center)

“The man who raised observational humor to an art form, whose eponymous sitcom will always be in the conversation about the greatest television shows ever made, has come back to his stand-up roots with glorious and hilarious results.”

– Bruce Andriatch