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He was the wizard of a thousand kings/And I chanced to meet him one night wandering.

He told me tales, and he drank my wine/Me and my magic man kinda feeling fine.

You'd be forgiven if you thought that stanza belonged to Tenacious D, who bounced into the Pompano Beach Amphitheater on March 25. It's actually 30-year-old Uriah Heep, which has provided a fanciful prog-rock template milked for lakes of laughs by our boys Jack Black and Kyle Gass. We feel lucky to have experienced the magic of the D this year (the duo has only 25 dates scheduled). The kids paid $25 to have sore ribs the next day from rolling in the aisles, and we didn't see anyone not getting his money's worth.

Sorta surprised the D chose to throw its MTV hit, "Wonder Boy," up for grabs first, but damn if that's not the silliest and most unforgettable tune Kage and Jabels proffer, as well as the most directly descended from the lava-lamp loins of Heep. Without singling anyone out for ridicule, the D gracefully dances on the grave of histrionic rock, and no one wants to tear his eyes away.

The predominantly pimply throng may not have read the footnotes, but it has bought into the joke so fully it doesn't care anymore. Like Tori Spelling, who portrayed a pretty girl for so long she convinced herself she actually was one, the D has buffaloed us into temporarily believing it's a real band. Of course, Black and Gass are actors who've disrupted the divisions between self-flagellation, reality, and belief-suspension to the point that they no longer exist.

But I can't help but be a bit miffed that Tenacious D is swimming in pools of $100 bills right now as Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (whose Mr. Show program actually birthed the D) have had their show canceled and their new movie, Run Ronnie Run, shelved indefinitely by New Line Cinema.

As Odenkirk says, the movie isn't all about yuks. "Maybe we made something special that will remain in people's hearts," he mused on www.mrshow.com, "until they get them replaced with super-robot hearts in a few years."

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton

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