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Fall Arts Preview: Comedy picks

Cameron Esposito will perform Oct. 6 at the Wilbur.Robyn Von Swank

THE BOSTON COMEDY FESTIVAL The 19th edition of the BCF includes a lineup of locals, including the premiere of local legend Steve Sweeney’s feature film “Sweeney Killing Sweeney,” and national names like Emo Philips, Ophira Eisenberg, Kevin Downey Jr., and The Mads from “Mystery Science Theater” riffing at the Regent, in addition to a stand-up comedy competition. Gary Gulman gets the comedian of the year award, and actress Jennifer Coolidge gets lifetime achievement honors. Sept. 11-15.
Various times and locations. See for details.

AWKWARD SEX . . . AND THE CITY Five comedians — Jen Keefe, Anita Flores, Bobby Hankinson, Karolena Theresa, and host Natalie Wall — tell personal stories of their most embarrassing romantic mishaps. Sept. 15, 8 p.m. Nick’s Comedy Stop, 100 Warrenton St., Boston. 617-963-6261, www.nicks


CHRIS FLEMING It will be tough for the former Boston comic to top “Showpig,” which he performed at the Wilbur and the Just for Laughs Festival in 2017 before bringing it to Facebook Live earlier this year. But Fleming, star and creator of the “Gayle” Web series, is a strikingly original performer and never at a loss for new material. Sept. 15, 7 p.m. $28-$57. Wilbur Theatre. 866-448-7849, www.the

SHANE TORRES On his latest album, “Established 1981,” Torres mounts the most hilarious defense of celebrity chef Guy Fieri (and by extension, Nickelback) you will ever hear. With Dwight Simmons, Jordan Handren-Seavy, and Greg Bach. Hosted by Marie Foster. Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m. Free.
CitySide, 1960 Beacon St., Boston. 617-566-1002,

KEVIN HART: THE IRRESPONSIBLE TOUR The ever-animated Hart’s star continues to rise, and his busy schedule must make it tough to do arena tours like this one. He costars in “Night School” with Tiffany Haddish in September, and he’s attached to a slate of films for 2019, including “Ride Along” and “Jumanji” sequels and remakes of “Uptown Saturday Night” and “The Great Outdoors.” Sept. 21, 7 p.m. $35-$150. TD Garden, Boston. 800-653-8000,


GILBERT GOTTFRIED He has a beautiful, smooth voice in real life, but his uproarious jokes wouldn’t work quite as well without the abrasive one he uses onstage. Gottfried truly loves old-school entertainment (check out his “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!”), and he has a sweet tooth for the distasteful (see “The Aristocrats”). Sept. 28, 8 p.m. $22.50-$33.50. The Cabot, 286 Cabot St., Beverly. 800-745-3000,

ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE WITH ERIC IDLE The musical member of Monty Python has written books before — he chronicled an American tour with “The Greedy Bastard Diary,” took sci-fi for a spin with “The Road to Mars: A Post-Modem Novel,” and showed off some naughty bits in “The Rutland Dirty Weekend Book.” But he’s never written a proper memoir until now. He’ll address “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography,” in a Q&A at the Wilbur. Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. $40. Wilbur Theatre. 866-448-7849, www.the

DANA GOULD It’s Halloween season, the Hopedale native’s favorite time of the year. His horror-comedy show “Stan Against Evil” is returning to IFC Oct. 31, and he’ll be back doing stand-up in his old stamping grounds in October. Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. $25-$37. Norwood Theatre, 109 Central St., Norwood. 781-551-9000,

CAMERON ESPOSITO: PERSON OF CONSEQUENCE The stand-up and podcaster, who began her comedy career as a student at Boston College, released a fiery and devastating special called “Rape Jokes” in June in which she spoke of her own experience with sexual assault and the cultural conversation on gender politics. Bethany Van Delft opens. Oct. 6, 7 p.m. $31.50. The Wilbur Theatre. 866-448-7849,


MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 LIVE Last year’s tour was a treat for the show’s fans (nicknamed “MSTies”), with creator and original host Joel Hodgson presenting Jonah Ray, host of the Netflix reboot, and the ’bots riffing on classically bad movies in a live setting. For the show’s 30th anniversary tour, Hodgson is jumping back into the theater seats with Ray to do some riffing of his own. Oct. 10-11, 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$52.50. Boch Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St.,
Boston. 866-348-9738, www.boch

MEHRAN The new Comedy Studio in Somerville’s Union Square should be fully broken in by the time the fiercely funny Mehran returns to Boston, where he launched his comedy career, to record an album. Oct. 28, 8 p.m. $15. The Comedy Studio, 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville. 617-661-6507,

TOM GREEN Befitting his style of comedy, Green has had an absurd career, from his days as an aspiring rapper to his breakthrough MTV show up through his appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice.” The one consistent element from his early days to the present has been stand-up. Nov. 1 at 8 p.m., Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. $29. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844,


COMICS COME HOME The lineup for this year’s benefit for The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care includes host Denis Leary and CCH veterans Lenny Clarke, Robert Kelly, Brian Regan, and Christine Hurley, and
new faces like Billy Gardell and
Jessica Kirson. Nov. 3, 8 p.m. $45-$145. TD Garden, Boston.

JESSIMAE PELUSO The former “Girl Code” regular, whose comedy often revolves around her dating life, is also a podcast host (“Highlarious” and “Sharp Tongue”) and a cannabis activist who hosts a regular “Weedsday” show on Facebook Live. Nov. 8 at 8 p.m., Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. $20-$25. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844,

LEWIS BLACK: THE JOKE’S ON US TOUR Black always has plenty to rant about, and no doubt will have a lot of new material come November, just a few days after the midterm elections. Nov. 9, 8 p.m. $59.75-$79.75. Boch Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston. 866-348-9738, www.boch

Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at