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Conventional comedy killers

For comedians, no subject is off limits

Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2005

 

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  Preston

TK

If the only definition you know for the term "PC" has to do with computers, then the Rebels of Comedy have a show for you.

Morgan Preston and TK, a duo stand-up comedy act, will be in Kenai at George's Casino on Sunday and Monday to share their observations on what they think is messed up and funny about the world today —whether it's considered "politically correct" to talk about or not.

"The PC revolution came and went and we said, 'You know, we're sick of PC. They've got too many special names for people. Why don't we talk about what it's all about,'" Preston said.

The two don't subscribe to the idea that there's some subjects you just don't talk about in public.

"Basically we're two guys that hit all the taboo subjects you can imagine, which you'd think there isn't any anymore," Preston said. "... Everybody takes heat. It doesn't matter what race or religion you are, everybody takes heat."

 

Preston

Politics, religion, race, culture, sexual orientation — nothing is off-limits for the Rebels.

"We don't even hit on a lot of the same subjects, but between him and I we cover a lot of the bases," TK said.

Comedians who are black, Asian or pretty much any ethnicity but white can talk about race without the audience batting an eye, but when a white guy gets on stage, suddenly the topic becomes off limits, Preston said. He and TK are trying to change that.

"When a white guy is up there, everybody's quiet. ... It's just that not a lot of white guys have the guts to do it," he said.

The Rebels aim to make the audience laugh too hard to be uncomfortable.

"We force them to go with it, that's why they call us the Rebels," Preston said. "People look at us funny, but we call the audience on it the whole way."

Though the show is labeled edgy because of its subject matter, the goal of the Rebels isn't to make people angry, it's to make them think, Preston said.

"It's very respectful all the way through," he said. "... The purpose is to make everybody talk about it."

Preston got his start in comedy performing at bars and other local venues around his hometown of Missoula, Mont. He left home at 17 to launch his performing career and since then has opened for acts like George Wallace, Weird Al Yankovic and UB40. He's also been a main-stage performer for the National Association of Campus Activities and a regular at the Hollywood Improv and the Icehouse in Pasadena, Calif. He counts Bruce Willis as a fan and is working on a DVD with him and his band, Bruce Willis and the Accelerators. Preston's TV work includes the show "We're Just Funny," and he's currently working on a TV project called "Comedy Bootcamp" with TK.

TK became a serious comedian at 25 after growing up in Dallas. He's also a regular at the Hollywood Improv and the Icehouse, as well as other venues in the Los Angeles area. He recently finished filming a TV show pilot for the Lifetime network called "Almost Family" that's based on melding his culture with his Korean girlfriend's. TK's opened for Ray Romano and David Spade.

Preston and TK have been performing together for about two years, since they saw each other perform at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., and realized they had a similar style and "screw PC" mentality.

Though they usually perform in the LA area, they're in Alaska following up a successful tour through the state in October. After hitting Palmer, Wrangell, Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks, they'll be in Kenai for two shows before moving on to Ketchikan and Seward.

Jason Miller, a partner in George's Casino, said he's looking forward to the Rebels' show.

"I think it's great talent," he said of the comedy acts that have come to town. "Most of these guys cater to the crowd that comes in. If they have a rowdy, raucous crowd, then they get rowdy and raucous. ... They come out and are top-notch performers. They're good at what they do."

Miller said this is about the 10th comedy show that's come to the Casino since he started bringing in stand-up acts about a year and a half ago.

"It was sort of a genre around town that no one was doing, for one thing, and it's something that people always are complaining about around here — there ain't nothin' to do," he said. "I figured I could cater to something no one was doing, and I figured people could come out and laugh, and who doesn't want to do that?"

The Rebels of Comedy will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday at George's Casino in Kenai. Admission is $10.



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