5 Must-See Shows at RIOT LA

Comedy Lists
5 Must-See Shows at RIOT LA

Wowie zowie, the 4th annual RIOT LA alternative comedy festival is happening this weekend in Downtown Los Angeles and it’s packed with fun shows. Big name headliners will share the stage with up-and-comers across 7 main venues, all within walking distance of each other, for stand-up showcases, panels, podcast tapings, improv, debates, roast battles, and any kind of version of a comedy show that you can imagine. Not to mention the festival offers arcade games, skeeball, food trucks, photo booths, and other vendors and activities at The Lot throughout the weekend. There’s a lot going on this weekend so we’re spotlighting our Top 5 shows we’re most looking forward to catching.

1. Natasha Leggero, Maria Bamford & Janeane Garofalo
When: January 29th @ 10:30pm
Where: Theater at the Ace Hotel
How Much: $39.50

The premier show for opening night of the festival features three of the best comedians working today all sharing equal billing, essentially giving the audience 3 headliner sets on one show. Natasha Leggero is a big star who is only growing brighter; she’s been killing it on the Comedy Central Roasts for awhile now and her sitcom, Another Period, was a hit for the network last year too. Janeane Garofalo is one of the reasons “alternative comedy” even exists and her output more or less defined the tone of comedy for something like two decades. Anytime you have the opportunity to see a legend like Garofalo do her thing, you’re going to have a treasured experience. Then of course you have Maria Bamford who may be at the top of her game right now. She’s so unique and funny and continues to make a case for the “greatest of all time” label with each passing year. So this show is a hell of a way to kick off the weekend and is not to be missed.

2. The Bullshit Artists
When: January 31st @ 6pm
Where: The Regent
How Much: $25

Although the cultural awareness for how stand-up comedy is created has increased a billionfold over the last two decades, there is still a pervasive assumption among comedy-goers that comics make most of their material up on the spot; it is somehow a disappointing feeling to see your favorite comedian a few times in a row and see the same material each time, even when you know you better. This show, though, features only the masters of the make-’em-ups. No prepared material. Only riffing. All of these guys are great on their own so we’re very excited to see what happens when you put them all together.

Kumail Nanjiani
Jerrod Carmichael
Rory Scovel
Anthony Jeselnik
T.J. Miller
Host: Andy Peters

3. No, You Shut Up! Live
When: January 30th @ 9pm
Where: Fusion Stage
How Much: $15

Over the course of his career, Paul F. Tompkins has become synonymous with “delightful” and his charm is on clear display with his Fusion late-night panel talk show, co-hosted with puppets from Jim Henson studios like a racist squirrel and a talking hot dog. What should we expect from this show? Fun, revelry, maybe some merriment. The point is it’s fun to see Tompkins in this setting and this live version should be a treat for all.

4. Picture This!
When: January 31st @ 5pm
Where: The Downtown Independent
How Much: $15

In 2012, producers Sam Varela and Brandie Posey created this unique show that blends stand-up with live drawn-on-the-spot animation and since then it’s turned into a must-see. The show is a regular Los Angeles and New York and has made runs in San Francisco, Portland, Denver, New Zealand — basically anywhere comedy is performed. It’s always a treat to see how the artists will interpret the comedians, and how the comedians will react to what the artists put on the screen, and it always leads to something one-of-a-kind. The line-up for the Riot fest is a good one and should not be missed.

Eddie Pepitone
The Puterbaugh Sisters
Chris Garcia
Ron Funches
Phoebe Robinson
Mike Mayfield (animator, Mr. Pickles)
Mike Hollingsworth (animator, BoJack Horseman)
Hosted by: Brandie Posey

5. Trump Vs Bernie
When: January 30 @ 11pm
Where: Fusion Stage
How Much: $15

James Adomian is easily one of — if not the — most talented impressionists of his generation and his take on Bernie Sanders is both pitch-perfect and inspired. This show pits his Bernie against Donald Trump (Anthony Atamanuik) in a debate format that is somehow even funnier than seeing real Trump debate the real Bernie. The video of part of the show, shared last October, showed these guys in rare form at the UCB theater in New York. This show will be the West Coast debut for Trump Vs Bernie and then they’re taking the show on the road for the month of February.

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