As many of you may know about me, I spent over 20 years running comedy clubs. I’ve seen literally thousands of comics over the years and people often ask me why I don’t write more about the comedy scene. I often say it’s because after all those years, not much is funny to me anymore. But looking at the talent playing Dayton this week, I felt the urge to throw something together here to share with you all.
With Poundstone, Pauly and Brian Regan all in town, my first thought was two out of three ain’t bad. Then just to be fair, I decided to look up who was playing at Wiley’s Comedy club, Well, I’m betting the folks at Wiley’s wish I hadn’t. Sean Morey is the headliner there this weekend. He may be the only comic I ever fired before he took the stage. He was a regular on the Bob & Tom show, and seemed to do well with crowds. On a recommendation from Heywood Banks, I booked him at Jokers. He was just starting to become a draw at clubs, due to his Bob & Tom appearances, and he really seemed impressed with himself. It was his arrogance and attitude that did him in with me. Long story short, the day of the show, he insisted I not put on an act ahead of him, or he wouldn’t go on stage. Which made my decision easy, he never set foot on stage at my club.
Comedian Paula Poundstone was a regular on the comedy club circuit in the 80’s and 90’s, s a political correspondent for “The Tonight Show” during the 1992 presidential campaign. Best known for her quick wit, her love of cats, Poundstone is a regular on NPR’s weekly news panel game show “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” She holds the show’s record for not answering a single right question. But whether she’s right or not, she’s always makes me laugh. Poundstone sums up her act best by saying, “I have jokes I’ve told before and will tell again, but my favorite part of the night is talking to the crowd.” She’s a rare stand up talent, with the ability to charm a room, be funny off the cuff and generally works pretty clean. I saw her do an entire show at Jokers, just working off an audience and highly recommend this show. And I also think she was mildly tortured hanging out in my club office, that was stacked floor to ceiling with headshots, tapes, cds and more and put her OCD on high alert.
Paula performs Friday, October 11th at 7:30pm at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets run $28-$38 and can purchased online.
Brian Regan is another comic that I’m proud to have worked with at Jokers Comedy Cafe back in the day.Brian has been brilliantly funny for years. He’s like that goofy friend you have who’s not the obvious class clown, but just consistently funny. He has the ability to take common occurrences and everyday observations and stretches them out into major chunks of his act. A stand up for over 25 years, Brian is a rare breed. He never used the club as a stepping stone for a sitcom or movie career, stand up has always been his thing. From the minute he hits the stage, Brian has the crowd laughing consistently, and often closes his show with a run of his “greatest hits” often adding favorites called out by the audience. I can remember sitting at the Dayton airport with him, waiting on his delayed flight out of town, laughing hysterically as he entertained me over a bowl of cereal. He’s a great guy and I highly recommend this show!
Brian performs Sunday, October 13th at 7:00pm at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets run $39.50 and can be purchased online.
Pauly Shore is in town playing the Funny Bone at The Greene. I booked Pauly three times (maybe four, can’t remember) at Jokers and I’ll tell you the same thing I said then when people asked me if he was funny. If you’re a fan of Pauly’s, you might enjoy the show. In the early MTV “Totally Pauly” years, he’d show up on a tour bus, with an entourage in a cloud of smoke, living up to the drunk and stoned reputation he earned on tv as “The Weasel.” He’d be lead to the stage, where he’d lean back against the brick wall, slur out 40 minutes of something that was supposed to resemble an act. Mildly amusing at best, it was his star power that was intoxicating to those who were enamored to be in the same room with a “TV star.” He always sold lots of merchandise and was pretty good about signing it and taking pictures with the crowd. On one of his bookings he showed a slide show of him growing up at the famed Comedy Store, owned by his legendary mother Mitzi. Sharing pictures of him being taught to ride a bike with Jay Leno, telling stories of Sam Kinison taking him under his wing to learn comedy and watching Pryor light up a crowd (with laughter, not literally). I actually enjoyed that show. Over the years, I did see Pauly grow up some, and leaving behind the MTV character, but I’d still say Pauly’s talents are better used on tv and movies than at stand up. But that’s just my opinion, you may find him funny.
Pauly will appear Friday & Saturday, 7:30 & 10pm with tickets running $22-$25 and available online.
And now you know why I don’t often write about comedy.