CARROT TOP isn't just for cable anymore. The frenetic, frizzy redhead -- think Jimmy Olsen after going toe-to-toe with a light socket and some serious speed -- who has rocketed to fame via his ubiquitous presence on cable TV's stand-up programs, is headed to town, ready to make you dizzy with his overflowing travel trunks of props and rapid-fire gags. ONE SHOW ONLY! Feb 28, Fri, 8pm, at the Austin Music Hall, 208 Nueces. Tickets: $19.50-$24.50. 469-SHOW.
PAUL RODRIGUEZ has been one of the leading lights on the Latino laugh scene for years, making a name for himself on TV and in such big-screen features as Juan in a Million and Born in East L.A. But his comedic home is the stand-up stage, and we're lucky enough to have him in Austin in an intimate room that will allow you to enjoy all the comedic flair Rodriguez has to offer. FOUR SHOWS ONLY! Feb 27 & 28, Thu & Fri, 8 & 10:30pm, at the Capitol City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd. Tickets: $20. 467-2333.
JIMMY THE WEASEL'S LAUGH-A-RAMA ofers tubs o' chuckles from the ComedySportz Players and special comedy guests to benefit the Humane Society of Austin. It's the third time these imps of improv have hosted this event, and it's a great way to check out all the fun up at the CSz Playhouse. ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY! Mar 2, Sun, 7:30pm, at ComedySportz Playhouse, 2525 W. Anderson. 266-3397.
CAPITOL CITY COMEDY CLUB receives a visit from the Lord of Latino Laughmasters, Paul Rodriguez (see listing). Thu & Fri, Feb 27 & 28, 8 & 10:30pm. $20. Sat & Sun, the club welcomes back a longtime favorite, perennially puckish and popular Carl Wolfson. Sharing the bill are Gary Wilson as feature and this year's "Funniest Person in Austin," Chip, as emcee. Mar 1 & 2. Mon, see comics working out in another Comedy Gym Showcase! Mar 3 only, 8:30pm. Beginning Mar 4, the club features Mark Lundholm. Weekly schedule: Tue-Sun, 8pm, second shows Fri & Sat, 10:30pm, at 8120 Research Blvd. Tickets: $7 Tue/Wed/Thu/Sun; $10 Fri/Sat. 467-2333.
COMEDY GYM is an ongoing comedy workshop open to anyone interested in stand-up. Classes: Sundays, 7-10pm, at Comedy Defensive Driving School, 2700 W. Anderson, Ste 227. 467-0886.
COMEDYSPORTZ PLAYHOUSE is home to the ComedySportz Players, 10-year veterans of improvisational comedy. Their club-cafe boasts Electrolux vacuum light fixtures, real Dart Bowl tables, a bank vault lounge, full menu, and lots of improv. Also this week: The Kansas City Jazz drop in for a match with CSz Austin (Mar 1, Sat, 7:30 & 10pm), and the club hosts the third Jimmy the Weasel's Laugh-a-Rama (Mar 2, Sun, 7:30pm; see listing). Fri & Sat, 7:30 & 10pm, at ComedySportz Playhouse, 2525 W. Anderson. Tickets: $6-$10. 266-3397.
ESTHER'S FOLLIES welcomes spring with lots of laughs, spoofing singles cruising the Whole Foods aisles; World News Tonight; Star Wars; and coffee lovers quoting bad ads as they pitch woo across a cappuccino. Thu, 8pm, Fri & Sat, 8 & 10pm, at Esther's Pool, 525 E. Sixth. Tickets: $12 Thu & Fri/$14 Sat. 320-0553.
MONKS' NIGHT OUT is two years old, and the funny friars are having more fun than ever. They offer sketches, music, and improv every week at the Velveeta Room. And for 1997, they've added a third show at the Cheese Palace -- Saturday, at the early-bird hour of 8pm -- and a monthly gig at Borders Books & Music. Thu, 9pm, Fri, 9:30pm, Sat, 8pm, at the Velveeta Room, 521 E. Sixth. $5 Thu/$7 Fri/$9 Sat. 453-MONK.
ONLY 90% EFFECTIVE isn't just for campus anymore. The UT improv troupe, which has been performing at the Metro coffeehouse on the Drag, is now on Sixth Street, too, with a show at the Velveeta Room every Wednesday night. The Percenters haven't abandoned the 40 Acres, though; you can see them at Metro every Saturday. Wed, 8pm, at the Velveeta Room, 521 E. Sixth. Tickets: $3. Sat, 8pm, at Metro Espresso Bar, 2222 Guadalupe. Free!
THE VELVEETA ROOM hosts a variety of comic fun every week. Wednesday, Only 90% Effective serves fresh, hot improv (see listing). Wed, 8pm. $3. Thursday, Monks' Night Out offers an energized mix of sketch comedy and improv (see listing). Thu, 9pm. $5. After the Monks, the Comedy Open Mike lets comics go wild with new material. Thu, 10:30pm. $3 (free for Esther's & Monks' patrons). Weekends offer the Monks again (Fri, 10pm; $7/Sat, 8pm; $9) and tops in stand-up. This week, Chip continues his reign as this year's "Funniest Person in Austin" and reminds us why he's one of the freshest voices on the local laugh scene. Fri, 11:30pm; Sat, 9:30 & 11:30pm. $5. 521 E. Sixth. 469-9116.