Brad Williams Plays Improv; Badfish at Mr. Smalls (CPs Thurs., 4/17/14)

1) Watching Brad Williams perform stand up, you’ll notice he’s funny, but also that he’s a dwarf. Williams embraces his dwarfism and turns it in to material for his act. His first big break came when he went to see comedian Carlos Mencia, who was telling dwarf jokes. Mencia noticed Williams in the audience and called him onto the stage to tell a few of his own jokes. He did so well that Mencia signed him to be the opening comic on his tours. Williams has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia” TV show, acting in skits as a “whorf” (whore dwarf), a leader of an all-dwarf basketball team, and as a character who expounds his hatred for podiums. He’s appeared on many late-night talk shows, is a frequent guest on morning radio shows, and hosts “About Last Night” podcasts. 8 p.m. Two shows tomorrow and Saturday. Pittsburgh Improv, The Waterfront, 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.

2) Mr. Smalls Funhouse hosts Badfish, a Sublime tribute band. Sublime ended with the death of Brad Nowell, their creative force and lead singer, in 1996. Badfish continues the eclectic, cool energy music that was Sublime’s, but with their own touches and their own loyal following. Also on the bill are Tropidelic and Jesse Mader & The Urban Rock Project. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.

3) Of all the regular theme nights in Pittsburgh, few are as well anticipated, attended, and celebrated as Belvedere’s Neon ’80s Night, overseen by DJ Hatesyou. For years, those who were hitting up the mall and Ratt concerts in the Reagan era have mingled with those who were being potty-trained while watching The Snorks. Now kids born after Tiananmen Square are making their way to Belvedere’s each Thursday to get down to the glorious sounds of Depeche Mode, The Smiths, New Order, and other folks who loved hairspray and synthesizers. 9 p.m. 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville.

4) The Pirates take on the Brew Crew (Milwaukee Brewers) in a 7:05 p.m. game at the PNC ball yard. 115 Federal St., North Shore.

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Rick Handler

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