Fall offerings are few, but here are three shows to watch

The deconstruction of long-accused joke thief Carlos Mencia (Sept. 16, Treasure Island) on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast over the course of two fraught hours was a fascinating journey into the unseemly aspects of stand-up that ended with the former Comedy Central mainstay, distraught, admitting he Hoovered material from other comics.

It seems to have been an impactful moment for Mencia, who Tweeted, “I’m devastated. I canceled my gigs this weekend cuz at this moment I don’t ever wanna do stand-up again, that’s how hurt I am.” And that’s after he said the accusations weigh so heavily on him, he sometimes sits home and cries.

But if you’re looking for an experience that involves psychodrama for all the right reasons, a pair of shows this fall stand as the highlights of the coming months’ comedy calendar.

The last time Australian Jim Jefferies was in town, he performed the same night Conan O’Brien was at the Pearl. The competition will be considerably less stiff this time around when he returns to the Palms venue Oct. 27-29.

One review from England, where Jefferies spent years between his native Australia and coming to Los Angeles, described his show as “priapic misanthropy.” Somehow, this was intended to be an insult. Jefferies’ cavalier laugh-as-the-ship-goes-down attitude and gleeful leap into the writhing mass of life’s squickiest subjects put him in a class with the likes of Jim Norton and Doug Stanhope of charmingly jaded misanthropes.

Dave Foley admitted that he got pushed into stand-up comedy this past year because of the financial toll his second divorce was taking. So now you finally have a chance to see an embittered Kid in the Hall Sept. 1-3 at the Playboy Comedy Club. It injects some retroactive pathos into all those bits he did in a dress.

If Foley’s stand-up is as good as he is in interview—when he was once asked if fellow Kid Scott Thompson, who had just undergone cancer treatment, was the gay one and responded, “Yes, and that will not go away. We had hoped the chemo would take that out”—he’s set up for a great weekend. If it’s anything close to the last time he performed in town, in 2008, fans will be in for a treat, too. Then, Foley greeted and took pictures with fans waiting for the doors to open half an hour early. Canadians really do have that whole “nice” thing down pat.

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