Nate Abshire (l) and Bryan Miller

Minnesotans will have several options to ring in the New Year with marquee comedians, including Louie Anderson and Dane Cook. But don't overlook the opportunity to celebrate the week with some local talent. Acme Comedy Co. is so committed to the home team, it has booked regular Tim Harmston during the Super Bowl hoopla. The club is following the same philosophy this week by hosting Twin Cities residents Nate Abshire and Bryan Miller for nine shows, including two on New Year's Eve.

The comics, both veterans of late-night TV, acknowledged their local connections in Tuesday's opener during what was billed as a contest between the two friends in which audiences will decide who is the funniest.

Abshire's 45-minute set included a warm bit about our frigid temperatures and how the rest of the world shudders at what they consider to be unlivable circumstances.

"It's not like we have to kill a dire wolf and sleep in its carcas," he said. "It's not Canada."

Miller poked fun at allegations aimed at Garrison Keillor that led Minnesota Public Radio to cut ties with its biggest name.

"Can you imagine how boring it would be to be sexually harrassed by Garrison Keillor?" he said. " 'Are you STILL sexually harassing me? It's been a half hour.' He must be the only predator who doesn't need drugs or alcohol to put his victims to sleep."

Miller and Abshire will continue their "battle" every night through Sunday with tickets ranging from $15-$25. Seats are going fast. For more information, visit acmecomedycompany.com

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