Thursday, November 21, 2019

Laughing Stock: O what fun!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge Rod Housley magically turns mystery into comedy at the O. - ROD WAYNE HOUSLEY ON FACEBOOK
Rod Wayne Housley on Facebook
Rod Housley magically turns mystery into comedy at the O.
Comedy magic for grownups

Forget Houdini. Magic doesn’t have to be about dark and dangerous arts. As Rod Housley tells it, all magic is about fooling people. He believes that fooling people should be fun to watch, and even more fun to be fooled.

Housley has entertained thousands at conventions and special events over the more than 20 years he’s performed as a professional magician around the country. He’s also won more than 20 awards in magic including Arizona’s Close-up Magician of the Year, Arizona’s Stage Magician of the Year, and the People’s Choice Award.

He will treat Tucson comedy fans to two unusually intimate club performances at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23 at The O. Reservations are $10 and $15 via

Housley began creating comedy magic as a child to cope with his sister’s death. “I kind of became the entertainer in my family,” he says. “Magic does the same thing comedy does. Telling a joke, there’s usually a left turn where you don't see it coming. It makes your brain fire in a new place. Magic creates that wonder. When you see something (surprising), people automatically laugh.”

Asked what makes him a magician's magician, Housley says his technique is like that of a standup comedian justifying the payoff to a joke. “I create a ‘why’ for every trick. Most magicians just do a trick and then they do another trick.

“I might do the trick a thousand times and then, suddenly, I'm like, ‘Oh! That's how I should present that. That will resonate with the audience’.

“I try to create magic that leaves the audience in a better place, where anything's possible and things are amazing and you're allowed to laugh. That's the childlike state of wonder that I think magic can create.”

Dreading Thanksgiving dinner?

The O’s Pre-Thanksgiving Extravaganza on Wednesday, Nov. 27 has some potential to stuff you with enough comedy that your uncle’s politics won’t give you indigestion. It’s worth a try.

Stephanie Lyonga lights up the lineup with electric energy and language unfit for reverent family holidays. Bilingual comedians Andrea Salazar and Tony Kanani Bruhn perform in English but make audience members feel at home in either language. Rounding out the show are Daryl Graves and two popular Phoenix comics, Glendon McGee and Derek McFarland.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5 at the door.

What are you doing New Year’s?

Laffs Comedy Caffe is now taking reservations for folks wanting to welcome 2020 with a smile.

Ron Feingold headlines shows at 7 and 10:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 31. Reservations are $30 plus tax and tip. The 7 p.m. show includes dinner, and at the 10:30 show, a dessert buffet sustains revelers in the count down to the new year’s debut. May it give us all something to look forward to.

More Laughs!

Friday, Nov. 22: Politically musical Standup with Randy Rainbow at 7:30 p.m., Fox Tucson Theatre ($41.50 to $87.50). Country musical standup with Rodney Carrington at Desert Diamond Casino ($30 to $45). Standup with Greg Romero Wilson at new winter times, 7 and 9:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Shatfan and The Lobbyists at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox at 9 p.m., Tucson Improv Movement (TIM)($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. and Fourth Friday Free Form Friday at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theatre ($5 and $8).

Saturday, Nov. 23: Standup with Trevor Noah at 9:30 p.m., Tucson Music Hall ($47 to $93) and Greg Romero Wilson at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Third Beats and Harold Omega at 7:30 p.m., and Pilot Season and Standup 101 at 9 p.m. at TIM ($5). Uncensored improv with NBOJU at 7:30 p.m. and uncensored Tellabration!, a nationwide event hosted in Tucson by Tellers of Tales at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8). High camp Retro Game Show Night, BattleMimes, at 7 p.m. at Club Congress ($12, Eventbrite).

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Nov 20, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.
Thursday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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