Friday, January 30, 2015

Gotta Drank (& Laugh): Tim Allen @ The Laugh Factory

Three years ago this weekend we saw Tim Allen perform stand up at The Venetian in Las Vegas.  It was a funny, inappropriate and insightful showcase for the convicted felon turned sitcom dad and movie star.  Picking up stakes, he's moving to The Mirage and their 1,400 seat Terry Fator Theatre. We caught him in Los Angeles at The Laugh Factory last night as he warmed up.  I used to drive past the Laugh Factory on a daily basis but this was my first time attending.  There's plenty of signed memorabilia in the lobby of The Laugh from performers past like Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor and of course, Tim Allen. Tickets were actually pretty cheap, $27 bucks for a VIP stub that meant no line and a guaranteed seat in the small club that has standing room in the back and balcony.  There's a two drink minimum but that could be a couple of over priced bottles of water and under $10 bucks.  Instead I opted for a Moscow Mule and it was actually pretty good. 

Growing up in Michigan and Colorado, Allen was part of a large family whose father died when he was just a boy.  Being too lazy to work, Allen got into drugs and then got caught at the airport with a large amount of cocaine.  After spending three years in prison, Allen cleaned up and embarked on a mission to land on the Johnny Carson show as a stand up.  Performing in Ohio for Rubbermaid executives, he honed his grunting, tool loving persona that led to the 8 year stint on ABC's Home Improvement.  During one week in 1994, Allen had the #1 show, book and movie in America.  Impressively, Allen walked away from a $50 million dollar deal for a 9th season of Improvement and then took 8 years to say yes to a sequel to The Santa Clause.

His stand up show was a non-stop hour of jokes, social and political observations and physical comedy.  Allen reminds you right away that he wasn't supposed to be famous with families or kids because he's an angry loud fuck.  He doesn't like his own kids, let alone yours so to be such an important part of Disney's history is baffling even to him.  Allen doesn't hold back on his views about Obama trying to make things fair, being conscious of social media being out there forever, the pussy-fication of society and being unapologetic for calling bullshit.  Even when it's at a studio premiere and Tom Cruise is in the audience.  Between rants Allen provides details of growing up in a big family, his father's expertise with explosives, going to jail and interacting with his wife and kids today.  While I laughed and was amused, the non-stop onslaught and growing temperature of the room just wore me out.  Show Vegas how it's done, Tool Man.

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