Funny between the funny |

Funny between the funny

Cassie Pence

VAIL – Rusty Z isn’t a superhero. He can’t stop a runaway train with enhanced arm elasticity. Nor can he generate ice with his eyes to block predators from orphaned children. But he can make a wife believe her husband showed up to the company party wearing only a bra and panties.Rusty Z is a comedic hypnotist, and he did mind-trick a woman on stage into believing that her husband, who was sitting in the audience with the rest of her co-workers, had shown up in women’s underwear.”She was so mad at her husband, until I told her not to be. She said, ‘Oh, I can’t take you anywhere,'” said Rusty Z, who will perform for tonight’s comedy night at Samana in Vail Village.He did stand-up comedy for 19 years, as a timid character he calls “thinking man’s Orville Redenbacher,” and he would open up for a lot of hypnotists. He thought since he was a comedian, he could put a different spin on his show if he learned hypnotherapy, so he attended school and received certification.

“Their show was inherently funny, but these guys I opened for weren’t funny. There was no funny between the funny. I keep the quips going,” said Rusty Z.His character evolved into Rusty Z, a swinging cool cat of a man. His show begins with stand-up, jokes geared around personality. “Rat Pack” humor, Dean Martin-type humor, Rusty Z said. Lots of one-liners and material that the Motion Picture Association of America would declare PG-17.”For my birthday, my friends bought me a sweater. But I would have preferred a screamer, or a moaner. That’s the joke everybody knows me by,” said Rusty Z.After the zingers, he goes into explaining hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is a normal state of mind that we go in and out of several times a day, and that’s why anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be.

“Then some crappy music plays, worse than the ‘Brady Bunch’ and ‘Dating Game’ themes combined, and people come on stage and actually become the stars of the show,” said Rusty Z.His hypnotic skits range from evoking Martian talk from his guests on stage to making them believe that their clothing has a mind of its own. Nothing too X-rated, Rusty Z promises. As a certified hypnotherapist, Rusty Z is also known to help people with their various problems, like to quit smoking or with insomnia-causing leg cramps. “This one woman had leg cramps that would wake her up, and I did a show and she was part of it. So at the end, she asked me if I could help her with the cramps, and I did. Now she sleeps through the night,” said Rusty Z.Tickets for the show cost $15 at the door. For more information, call Samana at 476-3433.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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