Reprints of local newspaper articles

Easy Reader, Calendar, February 24, 1997

Experienced Only Need Apply 

by Steve Coulter

Another upstart weekly comedy show at the original Stick & Stein in El Segundo caters only to professionals.

  While Dan Villalpando is trying to create a show that brings together professional comics with amateurs at The Lighthouse Cafe, Perry Kurtz is giving professionals a chance to work out new material in front of a crowd at the original Stick & Stein in El Segundo.

  "I bring in comics that do new and old material. It gives them a chance to rework their material," Kurtz said. "The audience will get into it because they know they're watching the creative process.

  A professional comic of 18 years who once ran a similar show at Sponda Cafe in Hermosa Beach, Kurtz wants to create a circuit of smaller comedy nights that allow comics to get their routines up to speed before making their way to the more established clubs.

  Now entering its second week, Kurtz hopes to turn the Thursday night Stick & Stein showcases into an established and respected comedy night in order to expand the circuit into other establishments in the area throughout the week. So far he has already secured an unprecedented Friday night show at the unlikely venue of Eat At Joe's restaurant in Redondo Beach and is in negotiation with two other Redondo Beach establishments to create similar bills.

  "I'm working on building a comedy circuit because there just aren't places for professional comics to work up new material and there are a lot of comics," Kurtz said. "The way a comic develops material is by changing it a little at a time. The only way to do that is on stage. You can't just sit down and write a 20-minute comedy piece."

  The Thursday "All Professional Comedy Night" will feature five comics each week beginning at 8p.m. with Kurtz acting as the opening act and emcee. Kurtz, who also books the talent for the shows, says he picks the comics based upon their experience, level of training and the type of show they do.

  Because he understands that the caliber of comedians he hires will make or break the reputation of the comedy nights, Kurtz is careful to pick comedians that know how to work with crowds. "It's a nice professional comedy show." Kurtz said. "I basically look for comics who might have a little training and who have worked on the road a little." In putting these nights together for the Stick & Stein, Kurtz purposely avoided making them "open mic" or "Amateur" comedy shows. Having organized shows of that nature in the past, Kurtz feels that people simply want to watch comedians who are proven to be funny.

  "Generally, letting amateurs up there, once in a while you get a good comic. Amateurs will often cross the line and start insulting the crowd. Professional comics will know they are crossing that line," Kurtz said. "Comedy audiences are very loyal. If you put on good shows, they will come back."

On Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m. comedian Perry Kurtz will be hosting a Professional Comedy Night at the Stick & Stein, 210 East Grand Ave., El Segundo. There's no cover charge, but watch your wallet-these are, after all, professional comedians. Call 322-6205.  



A Reason To Laugh Again

Comedians invade the Redondo Pier

by Robb Fulcher

  Look out Redondo, here comes Perry Kurtz. The comedian and former stripper (honest) is following up his successful Wednesday stand up shows at Sponda Coffee House in Hermosa by producing a regular Sunday show at Sweet Suzie's Saloon on Fisherman's Wharf in Redondo.

  As he does in Hermosa, Kurtz books talented and successful comedians with TV credits, road experience, and all the show biz credentials an audience could ask for, blended with up-and-comers from the South bay and elsewhere.

  The Sponda shows count a number of regular patrons among their audiences. Kurtz himself hosts the shows, using his sardonic wit on the audience and waxing humorous about whatever happens to be going on in his lifer from his latest road trip to his daughter's enjoyment of the male nudity in Braveheart. "I usually don't even know what I'm saying,” Kurtz explained.

  Kurtz' club credits include the Comedy Store in West Hollywood and La Jolla, Dangerfields in New York and Las Vegas, and The Improv in L.A. and San Francisco. His TV credits include an HBO Comedy Showcase and an appearance on the Comedy Central Network's Stand Up Stand Up. He also hosted the San Francisco Exotic Erotic Halloween Ball from 1982 to 1987.

  Perry Kurtz' stand-up shows are 7 p.m, Sunday at Sweet Suzie's Saloon, 202 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach (379-8831) and 9 p.m. Wednesday at Sponda Coffee House, 49 Pier Ave., Hermosa (798-9204).  


Club Caprice; Perry's Pro Comedy Nights feature host Perry Kurtz along with five professional comics. Weds. May 14 and 21, 8-10pm. Full bar and kitchen. $8. 1700 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach.