Going where every comic has been before

Bobby Collins’s website boasts that the New York Times called him “the most natural comedian working today.” But there’s no date attributed to that quote. It’s fair to assume that “today” was actually quite a while ago, considering that Collins has toured with Cher, Julio Iglesias, and Tony Bennett; that he was inspired by Bob Hope and Red Skelton; and that the New York Post called him “a perfect fusion between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.” Still, you don’t have to be hip to be funny; Collins is something of an elder statesman in the tight-knit world of professional comedians. After he ditched an $86,000-a-year job as a vice president of Calvin Klein to pursue comedy, the native New Yorker brought his good-natured humor and exaggerated storytelling to famous clubs like Catch a Rising Star and Caroline’s, where he became a regular. In 1988, he took over Rosie O’ Donnell’s job as host of VH1’s Stand-Up Spotlight, and introduced youngsters like Jay Mohr and Dave Attell. Then it was back to the tour circuit, where Collins continues to bust on the usual targets: the pope, the weather, marriage, and yes, Michael Jackson. About SUVs, he says, “A lady dropped off one of my kids in a new Suburban. It was like a train car. I said, ‘Mary, what’s that?’ She said, ‘Ah, it’s for the kids.’ I said, ‘If you’ve got kids that big, you ought to cut them in half! You ought to fold them up!”
Sat., Jan. 7, 8 & 10:30 p.m.
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Deirdra Funcheon