Sobering Advice

Comic offers tips to novices on performing in front of drunks.

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Kenny Rogerson gives props to an endless stream of tequila for giving him the guts to break into stand-up comedy. Then again, he can't remember most of his past between 1978 and 1995, when he got clean for good. "Things are kinda blurry to me. I would never want to go back to starting out again. You stand up in front of 200 total strangers, and in two minutes, they all agree on one thing: They fucking hate you," says Rogerson, who first worked on his act in Chicago's comedy clubs before he moved to Boston in the early '80s. "It's like being the leader of a third-world country."And the worst part of any young comic's career is to hit the obligatory open-mic nights to get face time in front of a few alcohol-fortified fans. "I liken it to getting a blow job on an airplane that's getting ready to crash. It feels really good, but you're scared shitless the whole time," says Rogerson. "At open mics, I couldn't wait to get there, and I couldn't wait for it to be over." Showtime is 8 p.m. today through Thursday, 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 Sunday at Hilarities, 2035 East Fourth Street. Tickets are $15 to $23. Call 216-241-7425 or visit
Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Fri., April 25, 7:30 & 10:15 p.m.; Sat., April 26, 7:30 p.m. Starts: April 22. Continues through April 24, 2008
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