Continuing the Shore family's stand-up comedy legacy, Pauly Shore might get a little nostalgic during his two-day stint at Houston's Improv starting Friday. After all, Shore's manic mentor was the late laff king Sam Kinison, who cut his comedy baby teeth on Houston's revered stand-up stages. Shore is like Kinison in that you either love him or you hate him -- there's no in between. Shore starred in a slew of popular films in the 1990s, including Encino Man, Son-in-Law, In the Army Now, Jury Duty and BioDome. ("Then I don't know what fuckin' happened!" he laments.) In his stand-up act, Shore devotes a considerable portion of his set to deprecating all over himself. "I know there are a lot of people out there who are not Pauly Shore fans," he's said onstage. "You probably know some of these cocksuckers. You probably had a conversation with them this afternoon: 'What are you doing tonight -- going to see Pauly Shore? Fuck that fa**ot. Call me after.'" That's so 1990s!
See Pauly Shore at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit the Houston Improv website. $22 to $32.
Get your aggression out under the guise of entertainment at I Declare War at Tank's Paintball. First on the schedule is a two-hour session of paintball war (the price of a ticket conveniently includes 100 rounds of ammunition). Then it's an outdoor screening of indie flick and festival darling I Declare War. Considered one of the best kids' movies for adults to be released in the last 30 years (take that, Harry Potter!), I Declare War chronicles the misadventures of a group of boys as they undertake a heated game of Capture the Flag. Rocks become grenades, sticks are transformed into machine guns and trees turn into control towers as the boys attack each other in an effort to win the make-believe war. But the fantasy becomes all too real when a couple of the wanna-be combatants take things too far. Presented by Alamo Drafthouse/Mason in cooperation with Tank's Paintball.
The paintball bullets start flying at 7 p.m. Tank's Paintball, 899 Westgreen Boulevard, Katy. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit the Alamo Drafthouse website. $25.
Headliners for The Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, making a stop at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday, include the elusive Dave Chappelle, Flight of the Conchords, Chris D'elia, Hannibal Buress, Jim Jefferies and John Mulaney, with Jeff Ross acting as emcee/roastmaster. There's also a big treat for fans of Comedy Central's The Daily Show: Series alumnus Demetri Martin, as well as current contributors Al Madrigal and Kristen Schaal, will be on hand to offer up sets. Brody Stevens emcees a second stage featuring regional funny folk.
Echoing a traveling 1920s carnival feel, the festival has a midway featuring "a wide array of locally known street-performing talent...with mystics, clairvoyants, magicians and more!" says tour rep John Vlautin. "Each show will feature the traveling 'Cut Throat Freak Show,' which hosts a snake charmer, glass eater, sword swallower, nail-in-the-eye innovator and heaven knows what else they have in store for us."
Start laughing at 6:30 p.m. 2005 Lake Robbins Drive. For information, call 281-363-3300 or visit the pavilion's website. $30 to $95.
Air-conditioning was a draw for early movie houses. Before it was a commonplace aspect of homes and cars, movie theaters were places you could just sit for cheaply and be entertained in blessed, non-boiling comfort. On Saturday, Aurora's bringing that aspect back with Houston Is Hot, where they'll be showing off local films that celebrate Houston's diversity while hiding us safely from that glaring yellow thing in the sky. Among the shorts is Luster's Montrose Rollerblade Dancer. Luster profiles Juan Carlos, who has been skating and dancing on the sidewalks of Montrose for more than 15 years and recently, became a viral Internet star. As one of Houston 's most recognizable people, this is a great chance to get to know the man behind the moves. Another Houston institution, the video store Audio Video Plus gets a proper send off in a short by Stephanie Saint Sanchez in The Last Roar: Requiem for a Video Store.
7:30 pm, Saturday, August 24, Aurora Picture Show, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-868-2101 or visit the Aurora Picture Show website. $10.
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Melissa Fitzgerald of the Houston Downtown Alliance points out two especially attractive things about the 20th Annual Theater District Open House, our pick for Sunday: "It's free and everyone is invited," she tells us. The Open House, now in its 20th year, is a showcase for the city's nine major performing arts companies (the Alley Theatre, Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center, Da Camera of Houston, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Society for the Performing Arts, TUTS and Uniquely Houston®). The day's schedule includes backstage tours; dance and musical performances; meet-and-greets with costumed performers; season subscription specials; and giveaways at the district's venues, including the Alley Theatre, Jones Hall for the Performing Arts and the Wortham Theater Center. Artists set to perform include members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Houston Symphony. The 20th Annual Theater District Open House is presented by Bank of America, with TransCanada as the title sponsor.
Noon to 4 p.m. Downtown Theater District, Texas at Louisiana. For information, visit the event's website. Free.
Nancy Ford, Jef with One F and Jim J. Tommaney contributed to this post.