At the end of Mary Poppins, Mr. Banks causes his ex-boss to literally die of laughter after telling him this joke:
"Jane says to Michael, 'I know an old man with a wooden leg named Smith,' and Michael says 'What's the name of his other leg?' "
If that's all it took to kill him, he wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds at a comedy club today.
Eastern Massachusetts has all the best that comedy clubs have to offer. Just in the next month, many established veterans and young comic upstarts will appear at shows everywhere from Lowell to Boston and beyond.
Do you like your comedy rough and raucous? Lucky for you, Ron White is coming to Lowell. The Grammy-nominated comedian who was a mainstay of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour will bring his freewheeling everyman act to Lowell Memorial Auditorium Friday March 8.www.lowellauditorium.com
Johnny Joyce will present a few shows featuring Boston's Best Comedians in the Lowell area in the next month. He, Kris Earle, Kristen O'Brien and Bob Shumway will be at Lo Kai Restaurant in Dracut Friday, March 8 ($20 at door, $10 at bostonsbestcomedians.com). Joyce and Earle will be joined by Larry Lee Lewis and Hamilton Johnson at Back Page in Lowell on Thursday, March 14 ($10). Boston's Best Comedians will also be at Brother's Pizza in Dracut on Saturday, April 6. For information, visit www.bostonsbestcomedians.com.
Jim McCue, one of the founders of the Boston Comedy Festival, will appear along with D-Tension, Ed Vezina and Chris Poublon at Cobblestones's Night of Comedy on Friday, March 1. WCAP's Jack Baldwin will host the event, which is $20 and requires a reservation; visit cobblestonesoflowell.com or call (978) 970-2282. Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, N.H., will have its own Night of Comedy on March 8, featuring Steve Bjork, Mitch Stinson and Chris Cameron ($18). Visit tupelohall.com.
Giggles Comedy Club at Prince Pizzeria in Saugus hosts events on Friday and Saturday nights.princepizzeria.com/giggles-comedy.
The Renaissance Club in Lowell will hold its 9th annual Comedy Night Thursday, March 7, at Centralville Social Club in Lowell. The night will feature performances by comedians from Rob Steen's Rent-A-Comic and by Bill Campbell. There will also be refreshments and an auction. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door; a table costs $firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel like making the drive to Boston, Wilbur Theatre boasts an impressive list of established comedians every month. In March alone, the Wilbur will host Bob Saget, Janeane Garofalo, Sinbad, Stephen Lynch, Demetri Martin and Marc Maron. For a complete list of performers and prices, visit thewilburtheatre.com. You can always go to an improv show at Improv Boston as well. Improv Boston has shows five nights a week for as low as $8 and does everything from improv to sketch shows to Stand-up acts -- to even naked comedy shows. Improv Boston also offers classes in these areas to help you exercise your funny bone.www.improvboston.com.
Follow Pete McQuaid on Twitter @sweetestpete.