The overwhelming majority of comics have “a thing.” A shtick. An angle. A meticulously crafted persona that quickly conveys who said comic is from the moment they step on stage, what their particular life outlook may be, and the range of topics they’ll tackle. If it’s too simplistic, or if it rings false, audiences’ll see right through it. Worse still, in the wrong hands it can become a crutch. A pseudo-witty catchphrase or wacky shirt may score a few laughs, but those laughs will forever smack of superficiality.
And then there’s Bobby Collins.
Try as one might, it’s downright impossible to pinpoint just what the dude’s “thing” is. He’s observational, he’s animated; he does impressions, he tells wildly exaggerated stories. What’s he talk about? Everything. Who’s he poke fun at? Everyone. He is, in short, a prime example of a true comedic Everyman, one who, though he plays everywhere, still gives it his all each and every time he goes up. And though dedication itself isn’t “a thing,” it’s a trait far too many lesser shticksters lack.
July 29-August 3, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., $32-$50. The Improv at Harrah’s, 369-5223.