Back in April, I called myself doing well to catch Fancy Ray McCloney and K Jay on the same bill at Scott Hansen’s Comedy Gallery in St. Paul. Lucked out, also enjoying host Nick Pine and opener CiCi Cooper. Four strong talents on one bill.
Nick Pine has an unassuming air and a wry style, pulling off an excellent deadpan as he delivers sharp material. CiCi Cooper is a stitch, droll as the day is long with stinging punch-lines. Her calling card shtick is priceless: Cooper has more than a few ways to gripe about not being able to get a man. She’s an ace at acerbic reflections on being single. If you’re a thin-skinned male, you might want to skip her solution for impotence. If you can laugh at yourself, it’s a hoot.
Fancy “The Best Lookin’ Man In Comedy” Ray McCloney and K Jay on the same stage is a review you can start writing before you leave the house. You know premier narcissist-cum-nitty-gritty sexologist Fancy Ray is going to kill. Setting this man loose on a crowd is like letting a shark loose at the Y. He was, to put it mildly, in fine form, loveably outrageous, a true mess in the very sense of the word. McCloney celebrates his 20th year in the business with a newly released DVD titled, sensibly enough, Fancy Ray’s 20th Anniversary of Comedy.
You also know K Jay is going to come with a wealth of laid-back, sardonic, homegrown wit. The thing I hate most about his sets is that sooner or later they come to an end. While he’s up there, though, it’s a comedic heyday. For instance, he’s got an absurd bit that makes all the sense in the world. With a perfectly straight face, K Jay pulls the government’s coat. “If you want to find Osama Bin Laden, they goin’ about it the wrong way. Need to send bill collectors after him. Need send the child-support collection agencies.” Hard to argue with that. He has a full repertoire of corkers, satirizing the everyday facts of life. K Jay sticks it to family get-togethers, nursery rhymes, and, in an airtight number, depicts a man trying to get his child to stop knocking on the bedroom door long enough for Daddy and Mommy to get down.
All in all, Fancy Ray McCloney, K Jay, Cici Cooper, and Nick Pine made for a winning night.
Dwight Hobbes is a writer based in the Twin Cities. He contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.
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