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Tampa News Force Special Undercover Investigative Report: Laffing Lizzie’s

Laffing Lizzies

In order to bring you, the Tampa Bay Area community, the kind of hard-hitting investigative journalism you deserve, sometimes we send writers undercover to check things out and file reports on what they find out. By “undercover”, we mean we go there without telling them why we’re there.

That’s what we did yesterday with an establishment in Clearwater called Laffing Lizzie’s, an ersatz comedy club/New York style pizzeria.

First, a brief history of the Laffing Lizzie’s saga, from their own Facebook page which still says “We are excited to be bringing nationally touring stand up comics to Clearwater”.

  • June 9: “Coming soon! Clearwater’s new home for all things comedy”
  • June 13: “Stand Up Comedy is coming to Clearwater”, with an announced grand opening date of July 29.
  • June 15: Comedians Joey Vega (July 29-30), Angel Salazar (August 5-6), Dean Napolitano (August 12-13), Keith Purnell (August 19-20) and Edgar Rivera (August 26-27) are listed as scheduled to perform in July and August.
  • June 16: “There’s no need to travel far for a good time. Laffing Lizzie’s is Clearwater’s new home for great comedy!!!!”
  • June 20: Comedian Sara Contreras is listed as scheduled to perform on August 14. Dean Napolitano is no longer listed.
  • July 24: “Join us for our Grand Opening Weekend starring The Latin Diva of Comedy Sara Contreras” which is now apparently August 12. No mention of what happened to July 29, or comedians Joey Vega and Angel Salazar.
  • August 4: “Opening night with Sara Contreras is right around the corner”
  • August 28: “After some twists, turns, and bumps in the road Laffing Lizzies is opening soon.”
  • September 25: “Stand up comedy may have to wait to come to Gulf to Bay, but WE. HAVE. PIZZA!” and “Did someone say pizza?! Laffing Lizzie’s Presents – Nunzio DiNapoli’s Pizza opening October 8, on Gulf to Bay.”
  • October 15: “Laffing Lizzie’s Presents @nunziodinapolispizza now open on Gulf to Bay in Clearwater”

There’s more, but this is a pretty good snapshot of how things have been handled so far.

Yesterday we decided to go see for ourselves exactly what was happening. Opening a new business is difficult. Maybe this was a case of a series of unfortunate instances of bad luck. Maybe eventually they’ll be able to present live comedy. Maybe this was nice local establishment making some mighty fine pizza in the mean time. Maybe all they need and deserve is a little support.

See below.

That seems like a pretty good deal!
Eww! (x2)

It was at this point that our undercover investigative reporter witnessed this interaction between the two employees on duty…

FEMALE EMPLOYEE: Did you get all the orders in?
FEMALE EMPLOYEE: Did you get all the orders in?
MALE EMPLOYEE: I can’t hear a word you’re saying.
MAN: Yeah, yeah, I got them all in. They all came in at the same time!

This is what the dining room looked like at the time this conversation took place:

Good seats still available

Okay, ignore the carpet that could have been cleaned or replaced some time between June and October. Ignore the dining room décor that looks like it was inspired by the serial killer’s apartment in the movie “Se7en”. Ignore the heated discussion between staff members stoked by the pressure of having to serve two (2) customers. What about the pizza? If the pizza is good, lots of other things can be overlooked or forgiven. So what about the pizza?

Eww (x3)

Our reporter ordered the two slices and a soda lunch special advertised on the sign in front. The choice given was between cheese or pepperoni. The reporter chose cheese, figuring the most basic pizza would be the best one to evaluate fundamentally how good the pizza is. No adornments, less chances to screw it up. This and a can of Coke was what showed up. There’s no way to say this other than to say it was terrible pizza.

Sex is like pizza. Even if it’s done bad, it’s still good.”

– Bullshit

This is easily the worst pizza from a so-called restaurant that the reporter has ever had in their entire life. Dry. Bland. Chewy. Insipid. The very worst generic, grocery store-brand frozen pizza is significantly better than this.

All of this may sound like a negative review, but it’s not. It’s the opposite of that. Clearly what’s happening here is a brilliantly executed, elaborate Andy Kaufman-esque prank, which makes Laffing Lizzie’s not only the best comedy club in the Tampa Bay Area, but possibly the best in the entire world! Well done, Laffing Lizzie’s, well done!

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54