Will Durst is in the business of political satire, and during an election year business is good.
"Like an Olympic athlete, I'm on a quadrennial cycle," Durst said on a speaker phone Monday while driving around Arkansas. Two days later, he was scheduled to start a five-day run at the Improv inside Harveys Resort and Casino at Stateline.
The Republican primary was decided by this time four years ago with the South Carolina election, but there is no end in sight now. A San Francisco resident, Durst sounded envious of Nevadans, who will hold their caucus Feb. 4.
"Get ready for a lot of ads," he said. "Nevada is a player state - it's purple. In California we don't get any of that. We're bluer than a surgical slice of liver inside a Smurf."
Durst calls himself a bipartisan basher, but he is openly rooting for a specific outcome in the GOP race: a brokered convention, which occurs when no candidate receives enough primary delegates to be nominated. The last brokered convention happened in 1952 when the Democratic Party selected Adlai Stevenson to run against Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Republican Convention will start Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.
Durst speculated the GOP might come up with a new candidate, perhaps Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush or Chris Christie.
"They're not happy with what they've got," Durst said. "Poor Mitt. If Bain Capital took over the Romney campaign, they'd sell it off for parts, and the five boys would be sold off for clone research."
He's happy, of course, to see Newt Gingrich ascending: "It's exciting because he's like a sweaty piece of dynamite."
All the focus on the Republican race has been a boon to the incumbent.
"Obama is like he's in this Teflon bubble now," Durst said. "Nobody's even looking at him and the Republicans are doing his work. They're taking each other out. That was Reagan's 11th commandment, 'Thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans.' He must be churning in his grave like a rotisserie chicken during a power surge."
Durst has been aided by having a cadre of candidates spending time as front-runner. Most everybody in an audience knows Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry. But the comedian's greatest challenge is to not assume folks are up on contemporary politics.
"They always say comedy is a monologue but it's not," he said. "It's a dialogue and the audience contributes to the conversation. I am there to skew the news, not tell them the news.
"The hard part is not coming up with new stuff. The hard part is not fitting it in and getting rid of the old stuff. It's hard to believe but Anthony Weiner was eight months ago, so I can't do that stuff anymore."
Durst appears on Improv host Howie Nave's KRLT-radio show, concluding each Friday morning episode with a commentary followed by the Louis Armstrong song "What a Wonderful World."
"Besides the fact that he is one of the most brilliant wordsmiths ever, he helped me get stage time when I was first starting out in the Bay Area," Nave said.
Durst continues to endorse his man.
"Howie is the hardest working person in show business," he said. "He should run for South Lake Tahoe City Council."
Durst also pens a weekly column for Lake Tahoe Action.
"I'm honored to be part of the whole Action community but was disappointed I wasn't invited to the Christmas party," he said. "Maybe next year."