Record funnies at The Improv
October 2, 2008
If you’ve never seen Scott Record, he is truly entertaining and a favorite up here. Scott combines not just comedy but also singing and impressions. He usually performs pretty much in big theaters, so having him in our intimate cabaret setting is a treat.
Scott’s the consummate entertainer, having performed not just in theaters, cruise ships and embassies, but even the occasional comedy club if the stage is big enough. Scott’s show takes on the appearance of a big production number, minus the orchestra. Rest assured, though: The quality is still top-notch.
Scott’s first big break came he was while working at Dangerfield’s Comedy Club in New York. Turns out the comedic legend took a liking to Scott and asked if he wanted to tour with him. For the next three years, Dangerfield used him as his opening act, playing some of the most prestigious venues on the road. That opened more doors for him, which led to opening for superstars including Ann-Margaret, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Julio Iglesias, Perry Como, Tony Bennett, the Gatlin Brothers, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Huey Lewis and the News, Celine Dion, Cher, Clint Black, and many more.
Since then he’s released “Record On CD” which enabled him to “simply sing” some of his favorite songs without the standup. It also includes his signature piece, “New York, New York,” which he sings with “skips” in the record. It’s pretty funny seeing and hearing him perform that live. When he’s not performing in clubs, cruises or theaters you can find Scott doing a lot of charity shows for worthwhile organizations.
Take one part Mormon culture and one part Palestinian culture, throw in a little rock ‘n’ roll, and you have a walking, talking comedic summit by the name of Aron Kader.
“My dad is Palestinian, and my mom is a Mormon,” Kader says. “My mom asks me if I want to go on a (Mormon) mission. In Arab, that word means something else altogether, like something you don’t come back from.”
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At least he can find the humor in his diverse background. This worked in his favor when he was part of the “Axis of Evil” comedy group and toured the country to try if anything to knock down some of the stereotypes. The troupe included a collection of comics with Middle Eastern roots who have taken on Mideast stereotypes and made subjects such as war, terrorism and suicide bombers funny.
“Arabs love to cuss in English,” Kader said. “They cuss their heads off in English, but they won’t do it in Arabic because then God can hear them.”
It’s a delicate balance, but one that seems to be catching on with a larger audience. The comics’ videos have attracted more than 200,000 viewers on YouTube, they recently had a one-hour special on Comedy Central, and they are on a 15-city tour with packed crowds. The key, Kader says, is getting the audience on board.
“Let them know that ‘Hey, I get it, you guys have a stereotype of us, and I know what you see’ ” he said.
Ethnic humor has a long history in the United States, but Kader says being Middle Eastern is different. He says people too often think of militants, terrorists and suicide bombers: “You just say you’re Palestinian, and it’s like you made a political statement.”
Aron has appeared on “The Shield” as well as on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend.” A regular on the L.A. comedy scene, his versatility lends itself to a great evening. Aron embodies what diversity is all about. Laughter can change the world, one show at a time. In addition to this being his first time here at The Improv, he is a regular with “The Groundlings” improvisational group, doing sketch comedy on Sunday nights when not out of town.
Filling in as host for me this week is Scott Fontecchio, who actually has been doing comedy longer than you might think. Oh sure, he makes for an excellent host and stuff, but get him to tell you about some of his inventions. He has patents out there for a number of items, but alas: It’s his ability to be quite blunt and in-your-face that has been his stock in trade. He likes to add the audience into his show even if it doesn’t want to. But you have no choice, really.
He’s pretty laid-back at first, but don’t let that fool you. Once you think you’re comfortable, he uses that hypnotic style to pull you in and then whoa! Did he say what? He’s known for his quick-witted and crowd-pleasing style. And yeah, he is also very popular at the corporate level customizing his show for the event at hand.
I’ll be back from Iraq on Tuesday, Oct. 7, along with John Caperona and Kenny Bob Davis.