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The Comedy Shows You Won't Want To Miss in Dallas in 2023

Comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham with his friendly "woozle" Peanut will be back in his hometown in January.
Comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham with his friendly "woozle" Peanut will be back in his hometown in January. Courtesy of Personal Publicity
Don’t ever let someone tell you that comedy is dead. While some older comedians like to proclaim that “cancel culture” and “diversity” are making audiences too sensitive to appreciate great comedy, we’ve seen some incredible new artists announce their presence over the past few years. Like everything else, club comedy took a dip in 2020 due to COVID-19-related shutdowns. Thankfully, Dallas’ comedy scene is now up and stronger than ever before, and next year promises a lot of hilarious shows that will have you in stitches.

Seeing a live comedic performance is a special treat. While many specials now stream on services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max, it’s hard to capture the same magic that laughing with a live crowd provides. Seeing someone land a punchline or fumble a joke live just gives it more impact. It’s fun to laugh in the company of strangers; even if you never see any of these people ever again, you'll have formed one of those strange short-lived bonds.

Right now, comedy is more important than ever, with all the global turmoil, economic troubles and all. Comedy can serve as escapism, but it also can create conversations. Sometimes, the best way to make a point — or challenge someone else’s — is by making everyone laugh. Here are some of the shows we’re looking forward to most in 2023.

Jeff Dunham
7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13
American Airlines Center

This Dallas native has developed a unique career by using ventriloquist puppets during his stand-up sets, becoming a favorite on The Late Show With David Letterman and several Comedy Central programs. Having recently debuted a critically acclaimed recorded show on Netflix, Dunham is sure to ruffle some feathers when he visits his home city in the Still Not Canceled tour.

Chris Distefano
6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13
House of Blues Dallas

If you grew up watching MTV’s Guy Code and Girl Code, you may recognize Distefano. Although he obtained a doctorate in medical science from the New York Institute of Technology and practiced as a pediatrician until 2013, Distefano has found immense success as a comedian thanks to several Netflix specials.

Shane Gillis
7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4
Majestic Theatre

If you’re worried that comedy is “too woke” nowadays, you might want to check out Shane Gillis when he heads to the Majestic Theatre this winter. Gillis was briefly hired as a featured cast member on Saturday Night Live in 2018, but he was removed from the series after videos circulated online of his past performances, which included racial stereotypes. However, Gillis has continued his stand-up career since, and has been praised for his ability to push boundaries.

Pauly Shore
8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10
Hyena’s Comedy Club Dallas

Here’s another comic veteran for anyone who grew up watching MTV. When was Pauly Shore’s Spring Break coverage not appointment television? Shore is making a Texas trip this February, and he'll be at Hyena’s Comedy Club at Mockingbird Station.

Fortune Feimster
7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24
Majestic Theater Dallas

The host of Sincerely Fortune and co-star of The Mindy Project has been an internet favorite for a good while thanks to her self-deprecating humor. Her “confessional comedy” has inspired a niche fanbase, so you won’t want to miss one of her first post-COVID tours.

Jerry Seinfeld
7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.Saturday, March 11
Winspear Opera House

Even if you’re just bingeing reruns of Seinfeld on Netflix, you have to get out and see Jerry when he lights up the Winspear Opera House. In an age where many stand-up comics have been canceled, Seinfeld is one of the rare legacy comedians who has always kept things civil and respectful. What’s sad is that most kids today just know him from The Bee Movie.

Craig Robinson
Thursday, March 30–Sunday, April 2
Addison Improv

He was Daryl in The Office! He was the Pontiac Bandit in Brooklyn Nine-Nine! He was Freight Train on The Cleveland Show! He played himself in This is the End! You’ve seen Craig Robinson everywhere, so check out one of his shows at the Addison Improv.

Sarah Millican
7 p.m. Friday, April 8
Majestic Theatre

Although Millican first rose to prominence in her home country of England, she amassed a passionate North American following thanks to the publication of her 2017 autobiography How to be Champion. Her self-deprecating routines about the failure of her marriage in 2004 have been praised as hilarious and surprisingly sincere.

Nimesh Patel
8 p.m. Sunday, April 23
Majestic Theatre

The first Indian-American writer in the history of Saturday Night Live, Nimesh Patel has written for Chris Rock at the Academy Awards and for Hasan Minaj at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Patel has hilariously been pushing boundaries with his own stand-up since 2018.

Heather McMahan
7 p.m. Thursday, April 27 
Will Rogers Auditorium, Fort Worth

According to McMahan, her new comeback tour will allow her to be “doing the most and the least at the same damn time.” The drive to Fort Worth will be worth it to hear her take on recent events.

Neal Brennan
7 p.m. Friday, August 11
Texas Theatre

Also known as “Trevor’s friend Neal” from The Daily Show, Neal Brennan has used his confessional comedy about struggles with depression to amass a passionate fanbase. Brennan can never be faulted for his honesty, so if you’re visiting a Friday screening at the Texas Theatre, check out his latest material.
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Liam Gaughan has been covering film and television since before he had a driver's license, and in addition to the Observer has been published in About.com, Schmoes Know, Taste of Cinema and The Dallas Morning News. He enjoys checking classic films off of his watchlist and working on spec scripts.

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