Comedian Bob Zany (whose real name is Robert Tetreault) has performed in clubs that seat more than 800 people. His “Zany Reports” on the syndicated radio program “Bob & Tom” (heard mornings on 95.7 The Fox) are heard by hundreds of thousands. He’s represented the United States in an international “World’s Funniest Person” contest.
Zany is going to be in a much more intimate situation when he performs two shows at Mother Mary’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria. The first show will be in the small room that seats approximately 40 people. Even the second show will be in a room that only seats a couple of hundred.
Zany likes being able to get close to the audience.
“There’s a reason The Rolling Stones started playing smaller venues,” Zany says during a phone interview from the Los Angeles International Airport. He’s headed to Terra Haute for one of the 45 weekends each year he spends on the road. “You can look at the first show as a preview.”
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Zany likes when he works small rooms because he feels a deeper connection with his audience.
It’s been three years since Zany performed in Fresno, coming here with David Dyer, Henry Phillips and Auggie Smith as part of the Bob & Tom Comedy Tour stop at the Tower Theatre.
It’s been a long process for Zany to get to the point where he can play big and small venues. Two years before he graduated from West Covina High School, he appeared as a contestant on “The Gong Show.” He got pulled off the stage by a nun with a big net, but he still earned $125 for his appearance. That’s when Zany knew he wanted to make a living telling jokes.
Stand-up comedy has been his main passion, but Zany has been an on-air personality at Los Angeles radio station KLOS (95.5, FM), worked in such movies as “The Informant” and “23 Minutes to Sunrise, “ hosts comedy podcasts and appears on comedy specials. His lengthy career in radio has been recounted in the documentary “Close But No Cigar: Bob Zany.”
Zany estimates that he has done more than 50,000 radio appearances. Those who have seen his stand-up work always make an odd observation.
“They always tell me that I am funnier live. I would hope so. Why would a person pay for something if it wasn’t better than what they hear on the radio for free?” Zany asks.
For ticket information, call 559-299-4242.
A Zany Slice of Comedy with Bob Zany
- 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday
- Mother Mary’s, 1345 N. Willow Ave., Clovis
- Tickets $25