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Radio comedy at the Englert

BY CAROLINE BERG | MARCH 25, 2010 7:30 AM

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“You’ve got your Kum & Go, your KwikTrip, the Stop-N-Go … I’m no expert, but it sounds like they don’t really want you to stay here in Iowa.”

Comedian Bob Zany enjoys touring around the United States, even if he is kicked out of places such as Crappy’s Sports Pub in Galesburg, Ill., for asking an honest question: Well, is it crappy?

“The beauty of traveling is discovering what the locals think is normal that you find humor in,” he said.

As a part of the Bob & Tom All-Stars Comedy Tour, the roving comic will toss around quips and sarcasm alongside comedians Greg Warren, Greg Hahn, Donnie Baker, and Chick McGee at the Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday. Admission is $32.50.

“I love Iowa; the people there are crazy,” Hahn said. “They work hard during the week, and then they party hard on the weekends — it’s fun.”

Hahn and Zany are regulars on the “Bob & Tom Show,” a long-running syndicated U.S. comedy and news radio program. Zany hosts his “Zany Report,” a comedy-driven news update every Tuesday, and Hahn is the Tasmanian Devil of one-liners and yelling.

“[People] hear me freak out on the radio, and they get curious to know what’s up — who is this guy, what does he look like?” he said. “Usually, I can’t wait to get onstage. Sometimes, I don’t even wait for my name to be announced — I just run right out.”

He made a distinction between performing with the Bob & Tom Comedy Tour and regular comedy-club appearances: The tour consists solely of headliners. He called the experience a party onstage, backstage, and everywhere in between.

“Greg [Warren] we like to call the ‘uncloser,’ ” Hahn said. “He’s not great with the girls.”

He doesn’t describe himself as a ladies’ man either but instead a “social sledgehammer.” He said if he were to put out a dating ad, he would have a picture of himself pouring beer over his head.

“Actually, I’m going to be looking for my wife in Iowa,” Hahn said. “But the thing is, she’s going to have to run up and tackle me like an animal … That’s how it’s gotta go.”

Zany is in the process of selling his documentary, Close but No Cigar, which chronicles his 30 years in show biz. Despite being a finalist on “Star Search,” receiving three American Comedy Award nominations, and landing the role as Matt Damon’s lawyer in last year’s film The Informant!, he is still waiting for his career breakthrough.

Hahn has worked his way up from a Catholic school secondary education to a captain in the Marine Corps to standup appearances on major television networks, including Comedy Central and NBC (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”). He enjoyed “freaking out” on “Conan,” he said, on which he felt compelled to throw a shoe.

“I get my energy from performing,” he said. “Drinking coffee completely freaks me out, and I end up calling up every lady I dated in the ’90s, and it’s just bad.”


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