By Jacqueline Monahan
He’s not related to Ron Paul or fish stick mogul Mrs. Paul. His name is Todd and he’s just celebrated his 1st year anniversary as resident comic at Hooters Hotel & Casino. The funny man/juggler/pseudo-magician (even he would call himself that last one), put on an irreverent, zinger-filled performance for media on Tuesday, June 22nd.
You could certainly call Paul’s act ballsy. It’s liberally sprinkled with penis jokes (accidental pun) although “starts with a D and rhymes with stick” (my words) is Paul’s favorite designation for his ‘nad region. Hey, the guy just wants everyone to be on a first-name basis.
Audience members Graham, Charlie, and Dave found that out when Paul called upon them to assist with tricks and stunts that had each man fearing for his dignity. One reviewer, named Chuck, escaped the spotlight’s glare, but not before Paul told him that he looked just like his buddy – in prison.
Yes, Paul interacts extensively with his audience and drafted assistants, putting everyone equally on the spot. If you’re a female wearing a low-cut ensemble, you’ll become part of the act. If you’re staring at him with what he calls “judgment,” you’ll become part of the act as well. He’ll open with a decent rock-inspired guitar solo complete with a mini laser light show while a large video screen flashes an x-rayed skeleton taking a sip from a glass.
His stage is a slice of urban landscape, complete with a section of chin link fence, a huge, black rubber rat, a pair of athletic shoes tied together, a length of yellow caution tape, a surf board, parking signs, a beer keg, pile of newspapers, and an orange dumpster that holds all of his props.
No one is safe from his comments; just falling beneath his gaze could earn you several minutes of magnified attention, although he seems to go easier on women than men.
He does modified magic, which he explains – sometimes. A beer bottle seems to disappear; a playing card is speared with a sword from the top of a six-foot unicycle; he uses his crotch for storage at times, reading poem glorifying it at others.
Chosen assistants are asked to put out a hand. “Not the stroker, the CLEAN one,” admonishes Paul. One guy is made to mimic Paul’s actions, and you can bet the sixty-something grandfather was made to visit that region as well.
The likeable comic will even hurl likeable insults. If someone can’t keep up with his rapid, often confusing instructions, they’re apt to hear, “Hey, I know you’re doin’ the best you can… it’s just not nearly good enough.” Paul delivers the dig so good naturedly that his victim doesn’t mind and neither does the audience, who has become an interactive gallery at this point.
Four crystal balls move over his arms and leave his hands as if magnetized, returning in fluid undulation, forming pyramids and sparkling on their travels from his hands to his shoulders, and back again.
His exertions leave him “sweating like octo-mom in a sperm bank.” Paul delivers this, like always, with an engaging smile and a flash of blue-eyed mischief. He’s the class clown that the teacher dreads most: one who hooks the entire class into following him on his various misadventures.
One of these is when he invites audience members to call out a selection of props for him to create a dangerous stunt. The surf board, beer keg, rat and electric guitar were a few of the assembled items that Paul used, even playing the Ventures’ “Pipeline” throughout the act.
Juggling apples while eating one that’s being tossed has been done, but Paul features a twist at the end which satisfies to the core, so to speak.
So does the final monkey see-monkey do mimic segment featuring an audience member, two hats, hip-hop moves that turn racy and flamboyant, and Paul strutting his stuff for his “shadow,” who can only keep up with half of the shenanigans.
“We look like a fat Kid Rock and Mr. Peanut!” he exclaims.
Guess which one Paul is. Better yet, check out his original, ever-evolving show and see for yourself.
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