Two weekly shows challenge comedians to elevate their games

Joe Rogan performs a set at The Dirty at 12:30.

Tired of seeing the same Vegas comedians do the same six minutes at the same bars every week? Can’t remember the last time your favorite Strip headliner added a new joke to his or her repertoire? Let’s shake it up.

Two local shows are out to help stand-ups up their game. Both run weekly—and late at night—but they each feature a different energy. And don’t worry, a comic wouldn’t dare deliver the same set at both … would they?

First up, the Dirty at 12:30 which takes place every Friday night/Saturday morning at 12:30 a.m. in an open-space lounge at the South Point. Promoter and host Gabe Lopez has found the secret sauce to pack the house, and names like Joe Rogan, Ralphie May and Chris D’elia have all popped in to perform for that crowd, which can get pretty drunk.

If you can’t handle hecklers, you can’t handle this audience, known as the Dirty Birds. Likewise, if you can’t pivot when something isn’t working, the Dirty isn’t the show for you. More than anything, this show is about instincts and confidence. While you’re almost guaranteed to have a good time in this party atmosphere, as a comedian there’s something greater to be gained: A monster set at The Dirty is something to be proud of.

Less than 24 hours later, the Stool kicks off each Saturday night/Sunday morning at midnight at L.A. Comedy Club inside the Stratosphere. The affable Steven Roberts took a concept that caught fire a few years ago in LA and brought it here: Performers are expected to work exclusively on new material during this intimate Vegas show. Some don’t, of course, wimping out and switching to their A-material as the fear of bombing overtakes them. But Roberts has become more aggressive in calling them out—while comics can sometimes fool the audience, they can’t fool other comics.

Crushing with new material is like a shot of adrenaline, and there’s real value, too—developing a joke with staying power. As that famous comedian Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The Dirty at 12:30 Fridays, 12:30 a.m., free, Grandview Lounge, South Point.

The Stool Saturdays, midnight, free, L.A. Comedy Club, Stratosphere.

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