Late-night TV hasn't had many opportunities to showcase stand-up comics during the pandemic. But former Minnesotan Pete Lee will soon get a chance to perform on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" — and he's bringing his favorite Minneapolis venue to the party.

When Lee appears this week at Acme Comedy Co. for five shows, the cameras will be rolling. The best of his sets will be featured on an upcoming episode of the NBC show.

Lee, who lives in Los Angeles, is returning to Minneapolis almost exactly 23 years after he first told jokes on the Acme stage.

"The 'Tonight Show' producers agreed that it will feel really special to bring a little piece of the show to Acme to celebrate that landmark," Lee said.

Lee gives Acme owner Louis Lee credit for offering him stage time and advice that led to his national success, which has included several past appearances with Fallon as well as "Premium Blend," "The Late Show With David Letterman" and "Last Comic Standing."

"Louis is a huge figure in my life and I wouldn't be where I'm at today without his guidance or his legendary club," said Lee, who is originally from Wisconsin. "Putting Acme on 'The Tonight Show' feels like a small way to tell him thank you. Being able to combine my love for 'The Tonight Show' with my love for Acme is the coolest feeling in the world."

Lee will perform at Acme from Thursday through Saturday. Due to safety precautions, seating is limited. Patrons can usually livestream current Acme shows, but that won't be the case for any of Lee's sets.

For tickets, visit

Neal Justin • 612-673-7431