Corporate Affair

Stand-up comic gets a little help from the suits.

Cleveland art
Canton comedian John Rathbone splits his funny-time between clubs and corporate functions. The appeal of the latter is obvious: They pay much more than nightclub gigs. But there’s a huge drawback, he says. “People say, ‘Make fun of Bob -- he likes to fish. Everybody in the company knows he likes to fish. You’re going to get a big laugh.’ [So I’ll do it,] and no one in the audience knows what I’m talking about.”

Besides, Rathbone would rather riff on himself. His adoption often figures into his act. “People say, ‘You have your father’s eyes.’ I’m like, ‘No -- I don’t even have his address,’” he says. “They ask, ‘Are you English, German, French?’ I don’t know. All I know about my culture is that they give away their children.” Rathbone spends his rare days off working on a book about stand-up comedy. He’s also putting the finishing touches on a song about OSU football. But he may switch allegiances now that one of his sons attends Bowling Green University. “I told my boy that I’m going to be rooting for the Falcons,” he says. “And he said, ‘Dad, I don’t know if I’ll be rooting for the Falcons.’”
Aug. 15-16, 8 p.m.

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