A stomping ground for some of the nation's hottest comedians, the Riviera Comedy Club also hosts bright up-and-comers at its 350-seat venue.
The club's roster alternates between a format of three comedians, in which one is a headliner, or one of four lesser-known comedians.
Tom Simmons, a frequent visitor to the Riviera, was the emcee the night we attended. A gifted comedian, Simmons struck on topics in the forefront of his guests' minds - Mike Tyson and terrorism among them.
Simmons proposed taking care of two problems at once by allowing Tyson into Afghanistan. "I like to see him (Tyson) fight, but I don"t think he should be a member of society," said Simmons. "Lets put him with Osama - he can rape and bite as much as he likes."
Oakland comic Daniel Dugar, who ranted about his wife's less-than-ladylike habits, and Larry Reeb, or "Uncle Lar" as he's affectionately known, had the crowd howling with their twisted takes on the world. Reeb let loose with a number of "tips" (such as preparing kids for bad weather by "wrapping them in tin foil and kicking them into the rain") for the crowd and summed up life with one line "It's a sick world and I'm a happy guy."
Modeled after a basement-style Manhattan club, the Riviera venue features rows of tables that run from the stage to the exit, with tables for smaller parties closest to the front. The semicircular stage provides plenty of room for the comedians to perform their shtick, with only a microphone illuminated by a spotlight.
The club first came to the Riviera in 1987 as the Improv, and changed to its present name in 1995.
This show has a group of reoccurring comedic headliners that perform along with the and special-guest headliners.