By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
FRIDAY, November 28
’Tis the season to be jolly — and that’s an order from the Groundlings. Come see who’ll be the next Will Ferrell, Cheryl Hines, Chris Kattan, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Kathy Griffin or Jennifer Coolidge. (Do you think Ferrell shows up to see who’s going to be the new him?) Groundlings Holiday Show features some of our town’s most talented goofballs and improvisers in an attempt to make you laugh your way through the dreaded — I mean beloved — season. Grounding Theater, 7303 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 & 10 p.m.; Nov. 28-Dec. 20 (no show Dec. 26-28); $21.50. (323) 934-4747, Ext. 37.
Praise Jesus and hail Esotouric’s Blood & Dumpling Crime Bus Tour. You’ll get your fill of gory tales of shocking goings-on, East San Gabriel Valley–style. That place is a real haven of horror, if the Esotouric folks are to be believed. Highlight? Oh yes — the Man From Mars Bandit who terrorized supermarkets, “The World’s Greatest Sinner” (braggart) and, of corpse, Phil Spector. Oh — and Nazis! Tasty treats from Jonathan Gold–approved 101 Noodle Express await. Meet at Philippe the Original, 1001 N. Alameda St., downtown.; Sat., Nov. 29, noon-4 p.m.; $63. (323) 223-2767.
SUNDAY, November 30
Anti-humorist Neil Hamburger goes over much better in rock clubs located in Silver Lake than comedy clubs on the Sunset Strip. Why is that? Maybe because “The World’s Funnyman” (also known as Gregg Turkington) tells really bad jokes. On purpose. And hip people love him. Why, I do not know. Do you find the following funny? “Why didn’t Santa Claus give anything for Christmas to Osama Bin Laden last year? Because he blew up the World Trade Center. No Sony Playstation 2 for you, Osama.” If so, proceed to Spaceland, 1717 Silverlake Blvd., Silver Lake; Sun., Nov. 30, 9 p.m.; $8. (213) 413-8200.
MONDAY, December 1
Professional comic ranter Denis Leary once said, “My biggest regret in life is that I didn’t hit John Denver in the mouth while I had the chance.” Leary puts his vitriol to paper with his new book, Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. He goes on and on about child-rearing, rehab, religion, pets, Starbucks, you and me, probably. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Mon., Dec. 1, 7 p.m.; free, book is $25.95. (310) 659-3110.
TUESDAY, December 2
Let us celebrate the 55th anniversary of our favorite literary magazine, The Paris Review. Though it lacks listings — sacré blurb!— it looks impressive on one’s living room bookcase (hint: open and close several times rather roughly to make it appear it has been read with vigor). Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch (if you’re reading this: Hire Me!), screenwriter Stephen Gaghna and novelist Mona Simpson, along with other “literary guests,” will raise a wordy toast to the publication of The Paris Interviews, Volume 3, which boasts such names as Evelyn Waugh, Harold Pinter, John Cheever and Joyce Carol Oates. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tues., Dec. 2, 6 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000.
WEDNESDAY, December 3
“Welcome, dirtbags!” is how Rudy Casoni greets visitors to his Web site. If you need some variety to spice up your midweek, try The Rudy Casoni Variety Show. Toby Huss out-Sinatras Sinatra with his eerie portrayal. He’s joined by Tom Lennon and Ben Grant of Reno 911 and The State, James Urbaniak, Pat Healy, burlesque dancers, full band and more. Steve Allen Theater at the Center for Inquiry–West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Dec. 3, 8 p.m.(323) 666-4268.
THURSDAY, December 4
Sometimes even an award-winning blurbist has to let the press release do the talking: “Royal/T and Zippercut are pleased to present Rococo Rendezvous, a masquerade fantastique that draws inspiration from the 2004 Japanese film Kamikaze Girls where the divine luxuries of 18th-century France are caught up in the childlike mind of a Japanese teenager. Rococo Rendezvous will be a fanciful night filled with Gothic Lolitas and Royal/T’s own Japanese maids. The evening festivities include fashion contests and prizes, a photobooth and sticker machines. Music by International Pop Conspiracy (French pop/J-pop/Spanish pop), surprise bands, video coverage and photographer.” Royal/T, 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Thurs., Dec. 4, 7 p.m.; $25 (includes hors d’oeuvres from 7-9 p.m.); www.brownpaper tickets.com/event/47634.