Best Bets: Something(s) funny going on downtown

CAUTION: YOUR GUT MAY BUST

From Monday through Friday, downtown Lawrence will play host to Harpoon Presents' inaugural Riptide Comedy Festival, five days of the top comedians from Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City and all across the Midwest performing comedy routines, audience participation shows, and of course, a little stand-up here and there.

First off, tonight the Eighth Street Taproom presents the live debut/pilot episode of "Hot Riffs", a brand new live comedy show/podcast that celebrates and mocks the world of popular music. Peter Lyrene and Chance Dibben of Comedy Freakout host the festivities, featuring the Puterbaugh Sisters from Chicago and Revolutions Per Minute's Joe McAdam and Nick Rouley. The all-ages show starts from 9 p.m. to midnight; charge is $3.

Then on Tuesday, Charlie's East Side Grill and Bar will host "Comedy Blackjack", a game that combines improv and stand-up with the luck of the draw. Comics must discuss topics based on a dealer's deck of cards and hit or stay depending on how well they do. See which comedians hit 21 from 9 p.m. to midnight. The 21+ show is free.

Wednesday night sees the return of "Jackpot Joke Nite" at the Jackpot Music Hall. Zach White will be hosting a selection of Lawrence-area and out-of-town funnymen, leading off with local boys Jay Maus and Sam Gunnerson and also featuring Omaha's Patrick James, Chris Dryden and Zach Reinert. The show is free for 18+ patrons and kicks off at 9 p.m.

OLD SCHOOL NEW SCHOOL

California rapper Nipsey Hussle doesn't believe in the current music industry that's saturated with pop lyrics and dance craze hooks, and takes his influence more from old school hip-hop musicians like the N.W.A., Ice T and Snoop Dogg. His debut album "Victory Lap" will be released later this year, and he'll also be performing a set at the Granada with Gee Watts and Stick Figa this Tuesday. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8; tickets are $18 advance and $20 day of show.

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