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Slapshtick 

Hockey star wannabeen hangs up skates for skits.

Naturally, a Canadian comedian would compare his act to his other passion, playing hockey. But Ian Bagg admits that he can't make a living from making slap shots on an ice rink. "I'm a huge hockey fan, and I really wanted to be a pro hockey player. I went to a couple camps and got beaten up quite brutally," he remembers. "I said, 'Nope, I wanna be a comedian.'" So how does a wannabe comic make a break from a tiny town in northern British Columbia and get to stand-up gigs in a big city like Vancouver? Easy, says Bagg. You hitchhike. "My parents were always firm believers in 'If you want to do something, go do it,'" says Bagg, whose TV credits include face time on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Late Late Show, and Comedy Central's Premium Blend. "So I went to Vancouver. Two years later, I ended up onstage. It kinda steamrolled from there."Today, Bagg shapes his act based on newspaper headlines. "A lot of my stuff is current events that I let my cartoon mind go with," he says. "I think comedy should be like Christmas dinner. Have fun and tease each other." Bagg takes the stage at 8 tonight, 8 and 10:15 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Improv, 2000 Sycamore Street on the West Bank of the Flats. Tickets are $11 to $17. Call 216-696-4677 or visit www.clevelandimprov.com.
Thu., May 8, 8 p.m.; May 9-10, 8 & 10:15 p.m.; Sun., May 11, 7 p.m., 2008

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