Shaquille O'Neal's All Star Comedy Jam

When: Sat., Dec. 31, 11 p.m. 2011

There were too many New Year's Eve comedy events to fit the space of this week's theater review, so we've let them bleed into the critic's choice section. In fairness, though, the All Star Comedy Jam -- held every year at the Paramount, with a rotating cast of characters -- deserves its own special cap. For one thing, it bears the imprimatur of NBA-star-turned-rapper-turned event-producer Shaquille O'Neal. For another, its headliners have all been vetted in the upper echelons of pop culture. That's no understatement. Tommy Davidson was a cast member on In Living Color, which means he could have done absolutely nothing in the intervening decades and still kept his headlining slot. D.L. Hughley was featured in Spike Lee's The Original Kings of Comedy. Gary Owen can cause even the most spiteful of hecklers to weep. Deray Davis played Ray-Ray in both Barbershop films. And they bring with them a cast of special guests. At the Paramount Theatre (2025 Broadway, Oakland) on Saturday, Dec. 31. 11 p.m., $55.50-$125. or 510-465-6400

Rachel Swan

Price: $55.50-$125

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