This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
by Mallory McKnight COMEDY


At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000


www.thebob.com Claude Stuart:


THE BLACK SHEEP


CHRIS BARNES July 7 - 9


B


TOM SIMMONS July 14 - 16


CLAUDE STUART July 21 - 23


ORN INTO A FAMILY of teachers and law- yers, Claude Stuart — as a stand-up comedian — is something of a black sheep. After years working the stand-up circuit and featured appearances on “The Tonight Show” and


“That 70s Show,” Stuart has successfully soothed his parents’ worries about his choice of careers. They needn’t have worried. After all, Stuart is funny. Stuart is bringing his physical stand-up routine to Dr.


CLAUDE STUART Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids July 21-23, show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m. $5-$12 thebob.com, (616) 356-2626


Grins in Grand Rapids July 21-23. Stuart considers himself the world’s only physical insult comic, which he describes as a cross between Don Rickles and Jim Carrey. Audience interac- tion is key to his performance, he never lets the audience forget that they’re seeing a live performance. “My friend described


watching me like being stuck inside a condom; high energy, unpredictable and, at the end, you’re going to need a towel,” Stuart said.


Although his dirty sense of humor remains intact, Stuart’s


live show is in a transitional period that mirrors his life. Recently mar- ried, the show remains littered with stories from his wild, single days. As he makes the adjustment to married life, he says he’s found just as much material as a newly minted married man. One of his in-jokes with his wife deals with some unflattering


comparisons between his appearance and famous figures. With an eye toward the inanimate, his pet names include Beaker from the Muppets and Wilson, the volleyball from Castaway. The ever-attentive husband, he decided to get his wife in on the fun. “She’s short, curvy and bossy, so I started calling her Hitler,” he said. “My mother-in-law thinks it’s hilarious.”


Nicknames are a reoccurring theme in Stuart’s comedy. His interac-


tive style of comedy guarantees that at least the first three rows will leave the show sporting one. In the great tradition of insult comics, he says his goal is to entertain without making people feel too uncomfortable. “It’s not a mean act,” he said. “There’ll definitely be jokes, but I’m


not going to have people leaving the room.” Stuart says his goal is to create an environment where the audience


feels anything can happen. He doesn’t want to play it safe, in his stand- up show or in his life. If that means being the black sheep, so be it. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” Stuart said. “Although, I still contribute to my IRA every year, just to keep my parents happy.” n


Other Comedy Events | by Rachel MacDonald


Chris Barnes Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids / July 7-9, show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m.


thebob.com, (616) 356-2627


THEGILMORECOLLECTION.COM RODNEY LANEY


July 28 - 30 66 | REVUEWM.COM | JULY 2011


Full of energy, Chris Barnes adapts his jokes to the conversation he has with the audience. Interacting with them on a level that is akin to being friends, Barnes focuses on real-life events and situations to keep the audience amused. From the Comedy Café in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wis., he has traveled all over including New York, New Jersey and Chicago. Barnes has worked with John Mendoza, Sinbad, Bill Cosby, JJ Jimmy Walker and Andrew Dice Clay. He also placed third at the Best of the Midwest at LaughFest earlier this year.


SCHEDULE | DINING |SIGHTS


SOUNDS | SCENE


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