Stand up provides comic relief


Mark Schiff, Fritz Coleman and Marcia Wallace drew in a full audience to the McKinney Theatre with laughs at “Sit Down For Stand Up Night” Mar. 12.

Attendees entered the theater for the 8 p.m. show while Wallace sat at a table in the lobby ready to sign copies of her new book and talk to fans. Before the show, Wallace said she was motivated by her surroundings.

“It looks like a great school,” Wallace said. “I met some of the people from the drama department and they seemed very nice. I’m enjoying myself.”

Once the theater was sufficiently filled, audience members were given the familiar signal that the show would begin as the lights dimmed and the room was filled with darkness.

A spotlight then shot out to accentuate the solo stool and microphone stand onstage.

Taking his seat center stage, Schiff, the first performer of the night, opened with a timely Elliot Spitzer joke and when he saw the large crowd in the audience, Schiff suggested everyone going to Denny’s to get some dinner.

“We can all go out after the show,” Schiff said. “All 400 of us.”

Schiff commented about the audience members’ age, which consisted of many people who were older than the typical Saddleback student. A large number of Saddleback theater season ticket holders are residents of nearby Leisure World.

“You guys are the students here at Saddleback?” Schiff asked with a chuckle. “It’s not easy to graduate. It’s a tough curriculum.”

The night continued with the second comic. Coleman, most recognizable for his role as weathercaster on NBC’s “Channel 4 News” took up the microphone and started with his act.

Coleman joked about many topics including his love for Southern California and how spoiled the residents are by the weather. He also listed the reasons why his job is better than anyone else’s.

“I go on TV for two minutes, three times a day,” Coleman said. “I tell people what they already know but are too lazy to look out the window. I love my job.”

He went on to explain his qualifications for humor and credentials.

“I have a degree in snappy banter,” Coleman said. “And a B.A. in B.S.”

Wallace, who has a long list of acting credits including “The Bob Newhart Show” and “The Simpsons,” opted out of the stool and microphone stand option. Instead, she stood behind a lectern and offered to tell some of her “silly stories.”

Wallace shared some of her life experiences including finding a husband, adopting a son and her various encounters with strangers who often mistake her for the wrong person.

The red-haired, fair-skinned Wallace described one encounter where a woman suggested that there was a resemblance between herself and Wallace.

“People say I look just like you,” Wallace said, repeating what the woman told her. Wallace went on to explain, “She was six foot three and black.”

Once Wallace finished, the house lights turned back on and the large crowd that filled the McKinney Theater migrated to their cars while smiling at the thought of the night’s hilarity and good nature.

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