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Comic's Weekly Roundup: The Second Annual 50 First Jokes goes to the Highland Ballroom

Comedian Olivia Cathcart picks out the best comedy shows happening in Atlanta including the national show, 50 First Jokes, making its second year in the A.

Mon., Dec. 28
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======For those who have no curfew, you do not want to miss Monday Night Comedy at Star Bar. As always, the shows around the holidays tend to be extra special as former Atlanta comedy greats are often in town visiting family. Expect to see an all-star line-up of current and former Atlanta comedy staples, hosted Rodney Leete. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show’s at 9:30 p.m. Free, as always.
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? Wed., Dec. 30
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?On Wednesday night, head over to Edgewood’s Joystick Gamebar for 8-Bit Comedy. This relatively new monthly show packed in the backroom of this stylish barcade is picking up steam. This week’s show will feature some local greats such as Jeffrey Stephenson and Dan Weeks, as well as some out-of-towners, including the incredible John Reynolds from New York. This show is free so save your change for some pre-show Street Fighter. Show starts at 8 p.m.
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? >> Over at the Drunken Unicorn, it’s the second edition of Surprise Crowd Work. Hosted by Andrew Markle and Cherith Fuller, Surprise Crowd Work is a normal stand-up show for six comics while two will be tasked with doing sets comprised only of crowd work, and they won’t know who until they step on stage (hence the “surprise”). This month’s victims include the hilarious John-Michael Bond, Brian Emond, Paige Bowman, Kevin Saucier, and more. Doors open at 9 p.m. Show’s at 9:30 p.m. $5.
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? Thur., Dec. 31
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======This Thursday is New Year’s Eve! The Peach Drop is too crowded (and completely overrated), and the dance clubs are a nightmare. See a real show Thursday night when T.J. Miller comes to The Improv. Miller has been blowing up recently thanks to his role on HBO’s “Sillicon Valley." The comedian has also appeared in such films as Big Hero 6, Our Idiot Brother, She’s Out of my League, and more. Miller released his first hour stand-up special, No Real Reason, in 2011 and hosted the Comedy Central stand-up show “Mash Up." Miller will headline two shows at 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. with Atlanta's Paul Gallois in tow. It’s the last show at The Improv till who-knows-when, too, so get in while you can.
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? >> If Buckhead isn't your thing, you can hang out in Midtown to see Tom Simmons at the Laughing Skull. Simmons is the resident NYE comic at the Skull and is always a pleasure to watch. Simmons has performed on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” BET’s “ComicView,” and has released multiple albums including 2010’s Keep Up. Simmons will headline two shows on New Year’s at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Attendees to the late show will also receive party favors and champagne. And in case NYE is not your thing, you have five more chances to catch Simmons as he returns to the Skull Friday through Sunday.
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? The Weekend
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?This Sunday, the national stand-up show 50 First Jokes returns to Atlanta, this time at the Highland Inn Ballroom. 50 First Jokes was started 10 years ago in New York by comedian John F. O’Donnell (“Redacted Tonight”) and still serves as the kick-off show of the new year in the Big Apple as well as Los Angeles, Denver, and more cities. The show asks 50 comics to tell their first new joke they’ve written in the new year. It was named by The Laugh Button as one of the nation’s best concept comedy shows. Last year was the first time the Atlanta has hosted the show and it was a huge success with the people packed to the walls at The Hangar. The Ballroom will have plenty of space for this year's mega-show as well as a stocked bar. It’s going to be a damn fine party. Door at 8 p.m. Show's at 8:30 p.m. $5.
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? ALSO THIS WEEK
? Comedy Night at Second Self Beer Co. (Dec. 28, at 7 p.m.)
? Last Wednesdays at The Mammal Gallery
(Dec. 30, at 9 p.m.)
? Pete Correale at The Punchline (Dec. 31, at 6, 8, and 10 p.m.)
? TK Kirkland at Uptown Comedy Corner (Dec. 31 - Jan. 3)
? J. Chris Newberg at The Punchline (Jan. 2-3)
? 1AM Secret Show at Smith’s Olde Bar (Jan. 2, at 1 a.m.)
? Hair of the Dog at Highland Inn Ballroom (Jan. 3, at 12:30 p.m.)
? 86d Comedy with Tom Sheve at The Music Room (Jan. 3, at 7 p.m.)



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