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Laughing matters

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

A couple of months ago, a trio of female comics brought sidesplitting stand-up to the Egyptian Theatre stage. This weekend, it’s the men’s turn to deliver the LOLs.

On Saturday, Jan. 9, a pair of California-based comedians will join local laugh artist Kathleen McCann for another lively evening of good humor.

The event opener, Tom Riehl, spent 15 years in the food business before jumping ship to try his hand at stand-up. In one sketch, he recalls a situation he encountered as an IHOP manager. A customer complained that his filet mignon was the worst he had ever tasted, to which Riehl thought (and hopefully didn’t express on the spot), "Maybe the first clue should have been that $2.40 price there, Sparky!"

In the early 90s, Riehl decided he had had enough of restaurant bureaucracy and signed up for a comedy workshop. "The restaurant business just wasn’t all that fulfilling anymore," he says. "I had always been a big fan of stand-up comedy and it was something I had always thought about doing, but it takes a lot of guts to get up there your first time."

He worked his way up from entertaining at hole-in-the-wall lounges with half a dozen people to performing at comedy clubs and special events across the country. He has worked with legendary comedians including Bob Saget, Paula Poundstone and Shawn Wayans and hosts his own TV show, "Food Rules," which combines comedy with his passion for cooking.

Riehl will be making his Utah debut in Park City and says he will likely address many of the same topics as his female predecessors, just from a male’s point of view. "I think female and male comics all talk about the same things, it’s just the perspective that’s different," he says. "Whether it’s talking about marriage or sex or your relationship, we have completely different views of what’s going on."

As for his style, Riehl says he’s used to people coming up and asking to hear a joke, but isn’t really a knock-knock kind of guy. "I don’t really do jokes with set-up punch lines," he says. "I talk about real-life things that happen throughout the day that we all experience – whether it’s in a grocery store, sitting in traffic, dealing with relatives – things that people can all hopefully relate to. I’m just trying to put my own spin on it."

Riehl says the show is geared toward men and women of all ages. Well, maybe not all ages – leave the kids at home for this one. The comic rates his material at PG-17.

"I don’t specialize in children’s parties, but as far as working really blue [the industry term for obscene, risqué material], I don’t do that either, unless need be," he says. "I try to stay somewhere right in the middle."

The headliner for the evening, Jeff Capri, tapped into the comedy circuit at an early age. His father, a comic for more than 40 years, introduced him to the stage as early as age seven during his performances in the Catskill Mountains of New York. "We had little jokes we worked out together in the car on the way," Capri recalls. "I kind of caught the bug early."

Comedy has taken Capri to venues across the country as well as overseas to perform for the troops. He has appeared on numerous television shows including "Last Comic Standing" and Ed McMahon’s "Next Big Star" and has worked with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Sandler and Tim Allen. He also performs semi-annually at Utah’s Wiseguys Comedy Cafes.

Capri says his act revolves around pop culture and his humorous observations. While he may touch on some of the same topics the female comedians ranted about, "There’s certain things that I think women are closer to," he says. "I can’t talk about my cycles."

He says the audience can expect to hear more about his own trials and triumphs than male-female interactions in general. "I do talk about my relationships, but I talk about my relationships," he explains. "I don’t generalize; I can only find what’s funny with my personal experience, not the male/female experience as a whole"

Capri’s material typically ranges from PG to R, he says. "I’ve worked everything from really conservative older people to frat boys. I really run the gamut."

The female comedy night at the Egyptian sold out, and the men hope to achieve the same bragging rights. "Without sounding too egotistical, it’s going to be an evening with me, so how could you have a bad time?" says Capri. "Get ready to have a good night."

Saturday’s event will start at 8:30 p.m., with doors opening a half hour prior to the show. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door and $25 for cabaret seating. For tickets or more information, call 649-9371 or log on to http://www.parkcityshows.com .

To find out more about the featured comedians, visit their respective websites at http://www.laughartist.com (Kathleen McCann), http://tomriehl.com and http://www.jeffcapri.com .


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