Ha-ha, ho-ho

There may be no other time of year more primed for comedy than the holidays; comedians draw from the smorgasbord of uncomfortable family interactions that litter the season like landmines, and audience members eager to escape said landmines are in dire need of laughs. Sacramento's ever-rich comedy scene delivers this week with a number of events ranging from homegrown talent to national acts.

Over at the Sacramento Comedy Spot (1050 20th Street, Suite 130) on Friday, December 4, musical improv act The Potato Bureau takes a cue from a local musician's live performance and runs wild with it (think Wayne Brady in his heyday on Whose Line is it Anyway?). The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $8. Go for a double-header with a performance from the venue's main sketch-comedy group Secret Handshake Society at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.saccomedyspot.com.

If you're hankering for laughs in more of a stand-up kind of way, Heather McDonald of Chelsea Lately and recent Showtime comedy special I Don't Mean to Brag fame will be at the Punch Line Comedy Club on Friday, December 4, and Saturday, December 5 for 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows on both days. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.punchlinesac.com. Across town at Tommy T's in Rancho Cordova (12401 Folsom Boulevard) from Thursday, December 3, through Sunday, December 6, Darren Carter, who has done the rounds on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, BET and Showtime, will be dealing in impressions and manic observational humor. Tickets are $20 and times vary; visit www.tommyts.com for more details.

If you're looking to get a little more charitable as you split your sides, Laugh it Off Comedy offers a night of local comedy benefiting at-risk youth through the Biletnikoff Foundation on Saturday, December 5, at the Roseville Eagles Aerie 1582 (210 Lincoln Street) at 8 p.m. Comics include Greg Williams, Dan Mires and Saul Trujillo, with headliner Ellis Rodriguez, who recently placed third in the Las Vegas World Series of Comedy. Admission is $20 and tickets can be purchased by calling (916)-214-1374.