Comedian Jeff Allen will take the stage at Cole Auditorium Friday night, and bring his stand-up comedy show to the venue for the first time.
In the 34 years that he’s been performing, Allen has been featured on every U.S. cable comedy show and performed at President Bush’s second inauguration in 2005. He also travels to perform for U.S. troops whenever possible.
“I performed in Bahrain, and I took my son on that trip with me,” said Allen. “He was in high school then, and that trip made such an impact on him that he signed up to join the Army after he graduated. My most recent trip was to Fort Hood, Texas.”
A family man, much of Allen’s comedy revolves around the hilarity found in family life. He can laugh now about relationship struggles, but his life wasn’t always so funny.
“I worked in nightclubs for 20 years — New York, Las Vegas, ” he said. “One day I looked at my audience and realized that I had gotten older but the audience was still the same age.”
Realizing that he wanted to make some changes in his life, and in his performance, Allen decided to take his act in a different, more personal, direction.
“I’ve been ten minutes from signing divorce papers, and I’ve been through AA,” he said. “I will gut myself like a fish onstage with one goal — to make people’s sides hurt.”
Allen said one of the most rewarding aspects of his lifelong passion is to hear people say, “Thank you, I haven’t laughed like that in months.”
These days, Allen can look back at the hard times and laugh.
“It’s good, clean comedy that most people can relate to,” said Ron Davis, founder of Levent Promotions, which booked the Cole for the event. “It’s not crude or embarrassing, but it’s really, really funny because it’s all so true.”
Davis said that ticket sales are going as planned.
Reserved seats are available but limited, and cost $50. Regular tickets are $25. If you would like to use a credit card to purchase your tickets, be aware that Hardwick Vision Center takes credit cards, but Cole Auditorium takes cash and checks only.
The comedy show will be held May 4, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org