He Won't Cease to Amuse You

Like a frat boy who's ten years too old and 20 pounds too heavy, Kyle Cease peddles Ritalin-addled, stream-of-consciousness comedy that touches on subjects as varied as septuagenarian nudists, original Nintendo, and the sexual exploits of the Pillsbury doughboy. His rambling, giggle-laced delivery is similar to that of fellow 30-something goofball Dane Cook, but Cease's comic persona is lewder, more manic, and thus funnier. And though he has done some acting for television and movies, the Seattle native's natural craft is stand-up. There, alone in the spotlight, Cease skitters around in a costume of sloppy jeans and a baseball cap, telling jokes, ad-libbing, and ruthlessly heckling the audience. It's a fast-forward performance style, punctuated with expletives and characterized by weird segues from broken sentences into punch lines. To illustrate, here's this Cease-brand quip: "I grew up with my mother, Bambi... But her name's not Bambi. We just call her that 'cause she's a stripper and her mom was killed by a hunter." Naturally, these kinds of scattershot hysterics sometimes lapse into stagy shtick. But, for the most part, Cease proves himself a solid practitioner of tricky meta-raunch, finding laughs in the gaps between one overly complex gag and the next.
Fri., April 3; Sat., April 4; Sun., April 5, 2009
 
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