On most nights, Maryhill’s Commercial Tavern is filled with the sound of boots two-steppin’ to live country music.
But on August 17, owner Paul Weber hopes to exchange country twang for laughs with the “two idiots” comedy show.
Longtime friends and collaborators Terry Parker and Larry Smith will perform their energetic stand-up routines.
“We both do individual standup and we’re both headliners,” Parker said. “I always go on first when I work with (Larry) because he is a completely different act and the show just goes right off the charts. … The show works better that way because while I’m high energy, he’s completely off the cuff; you never know what’s going to happen.”
While both comics bring edgy material and they like to get the audience involved in the act, Parker is quick to point out that they never “pick on anybody.”
“We’re there to get laughs, but not at your expense. We talk to people, but I know that some comics like to pick on the audience and it can make people uncomfortable. We never do that.”
Smith, a veteran performer with more than 25 years of experience describes his improvisational style.
“I hit a point where I felt like I should be able to just go out on stage and wing it, doing stuff I’ve done before, stuff I’ve never done, others that I just wrote last week. Really it’s the true meaning of the term ad-lib.”
That way, people can come out to see his act more than once without having the same experience, he explained.
“I always find that disappointing about comedy that once you went and saw someone’s routine, you couldn’t go see them again the next night because they were going to say the exact same stuff. I always say, you do the show that you would want to see.”
It also allows him to play off the crowd.
“I like to see where the audience takes me. For me, I would find it hard if you said, ‘go up there and do these bits in this order and you can’t deviate. I’d be screwed.
“Doing a proper comedy routine is kind of like a conversation. Whenever you’re having a conversation you need to read the other person to figure out what kind of language is appropriate.”
It’s also important to enjoy being on stage, Smith said, because “funny is subjective, but having fun is contagious.”
“I have material that I think is funny and it has been tested over time and I’m constantly writing and changing things. I’ve been doing it for 25 years, same with Larry, and we just want people to have a good time.”
While it’ll be an “adult show,” Parker says his act suits a variety of audiences.
“I cover everybody. You could be 18 or 75 years old. I try to stay relevant. I do politics, family, everyday life. I cover a wide spectrum.”
The Two Idiots on Tour comedy show runs from 3-6 p.m. on August 17 at the Commercial Tavern, 1303 Maryhill Rd. Tickets are $10, available at the door.