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New showcase for Pittsburgh comedians continues

Pittsburgh has a new monthly series for local standup comics.

The Funhouse Mirror Comedy Show was launched in November by veteran comic Zach Funk, at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, in Millvale.

“I think that Pittsburgh has a very good comedy scene,” said Funk, who’s been performing on area stages for a decade. Funhouse Mirror is “just about highlighting people and giving people chances to grow and get better and work in different situations, and I’m really glad to help facilitate that.”

He said one goal is to highlight a wide array of talents, including comics who work in different styles, from storytellers to slingers of one-liners. “It gives me a chance to see the kind of show I’d like to see as an audience member as well,” he said. “It’s a show where you’re not going to get just the same thing for an-hour-and-half or whatever.”

December’s headliner is Krish Mohan, who might be Pittsburgh’s most overtly political comic. Mohan, who has toured nationally, titles his show The Citizen Revolution. He described it as “history and political education mixed with comedy.” Mohan, who was born in India, draws on everything from his experience becoming a U.S. citizen to what he calls “the hidden socialist history of the United States.”

One bit delves into how, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI sought to destroy the Black Panthers’ school-breakfast program for poor children – after which the federal government, embarrassed by the program’s success, ramp up its own school-breakfast efforts. That might not be everyone’s idea of comedy gold, but Mohan said, “I try to focus on what is the most absurd part of this history, which to me is the fact that all this time and money was spent on trying to make sure kids aren’t fed.”

Funk hosts the show. The Dec. 18 lineup also includes Cassi Bruno, Teresa Roberts, and Harry Gilliland.

The show starts at 8:30. All patrons must provide proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours.

More information is here.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: