The job that allows me to live in the great town of Strasburg means I do have to travel, and I spent the last couple days in Pasadena, California with the management team for our new consolidated department. One of my peers suggested we catch a comic hypnotist who was in town at the same time. I entered The Ice House Comedy Club not knowing who I was going to see only to find out that one of my favorite comedians, Gabriel Iglesias (“Fluffy Guy”) was hosting it (and he did some standup himself).
But that wasn’t the only good news…the opening act was another tremendously talented comedian, Alfred Robles. I should note two things: (1) I never saw or heard of him before and (2) he was the first standup comedian I saw live.
And he was great…one of the best performances I’ve seen recently. Really impressed. If he isn’t already, he should be headlining.
Now…after Alfred…and after Gabriel (who was also great)…Rich Guzzi took the stage and I’ve got to say, he was an amazing combination of humor, caring, and hypnotic skill. I’ll be up front and say that I had (and still have) concerns with hypnotism (even some religious ones), but if anyone could convince me that there is nothing nefarious with it…Rich is probably the guy. He is either a practiced liar or someone with genuine concern for the participants and who is committed to using hypnotism for positive purposes.
So, you may ask, was it real? Or was everyone just faking it…and were there plants? Although I suspect a couple of his volunteers were faking it, I am convinced it was real with most. Afterward, hearing some of his subjects chat, they didn’t know what they had done. (Maybe that was best. :-)) Were there any plants in the audience? There is no way I could say for sure…but I don’t think so.
Regardless, it was funny enough my new set of peers could have fallen out of their chairs laughing. Oh, and one of them started being hypnotized in her chair during a part where he said we couldn’t separate our hands. She couldn’t. (Translation: further proof it was real.)
Finally, thanks to both Alfred and Rich for hanging out afterward, interacting with your fans, and letting us take selfies. You both are credits to your professions and you made a fish out of water small town guy not only laugh hard during your show, but feel welcome afterward.
Oh, and the The Ice House Comedy Club was a perfect venue to see them with attentive and friendly staff. Great night all around!
P.S. I do think all three, Alfred, Gabriel, and Rich are well worth the $$$ to see. However, as a Christian there are lines in their acts I would consider “too far.” Everybody needs to decide on their own where the right line is, but as a whole I would consider all three fairly clean comedians, especially by modern standards.
P.P.S. Almost forgot…I give them 4 1/2 out of 5 bulls and a hearty Strasburg Rocks! recommends!