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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 20, 2018

Comedian Bob Zany at Sondheim

Sep 07, 2017

With over 1,000 national TV appearances, Bob Zany is a living legend. He’s been seen on everything from the “Tonight Show” and “Last Comic Standing” to the “Gong Show” and “Family Feud.” He’s wry, sarcastic, insulting, lovable, and well ... zany. His Zany Report is regularly on the nationally syndicated, “The Bob & Tom Show.” He’ll be on the Sondheim stage, in the comedy club style ambience, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14.

After 40 years of performing stand-up comedy, Zany has learned to let the crowd be part of the shows. “I begin and end the show, and the audience gets the middle,” he said. “Twenty-five percent is something I will never do again.”

His first appearance on stage was on “The Gong Show” at 15 years old. Although he wasn’t gonged off the show, he was escorted off the stage by a man in a nun’s costume with a large fishing net. As he would say today, “Welcome to showbiz, bay-bee!”

Zany pressed on, topping Carrot Top on “Star Search” and launching a comedic career that has spanned three decades and more than 100 national television appearances. Zany has honed the art of getting on stage without a set joke list and working the audience. No one is safe — he’s been called “The Insult Comedian” because of his penchant for riffing ad-lib jokes off the crowd, tossing in his trademark line “It’s just business, bay-bee.”

Forty years later, he still is on stage. “I didn’t plan well for retirement,” he said. “And I can still do the job.”

Zany’s comedy is based on life experiences. One of the stories that made it into his act was about a small car accident he had while in Florida. “The woman said ‘I didn’t see you’,” he said. “Well, good luck on seeing a stop sign. They are much smaller than my car.”

He has made quite a career, from co-hosting the MDA Telethon with Jerry Lewis, working two years with Rodney Dangerfield, acting in movies with the likes of David Spade and Matt Damon, being the subject of a documentary about his career called “Close but no Cigar” to touring the country with The Bob and Tom Comedy Tour and performing stand up in every state of the union.

Opening the comedy night is Mr. Southeast Iowa Dave Johnson.

Tickets for comedian Bob Zany are $20 until 5 p.m. Sept. 14 and are available at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center ticket office, 472-2787 and online www.FairfieldACC.com. Tickets are $25 at the door, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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