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Ben Bailey brings laughs to Legends

Tae Andrews | Friday, October 5, 2007

He’s had appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and performed on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. Now, in-demand comedian Ben Bailey takes the stage at Legends tonight.

That’s a whole lot of comedy to go around. Bailey is a 6-foot-6 beast of a man with short-cropped hair and an intense demeanor. His material ranges from the profane and the inane to the just plain awkward, and all of it is funny. But don’t take one critic’s word for it – check out the tube (YouTube, that is) to watch some clips of Bailey’s riffs.

Bailey’s humorous takes make keen and candid observations about everyday life, with a healthy sprinkling of salty language into the mix. During one of his funnier bits, Bailey talks about the awkwardness of prematurely ending a conversation on the street and then finding oneself still headed in the same direction as the person with whom he just finished speaking. Commenting on day-to-day absurdities like this one is the heart of Bailey’s humor.

Bailey also has a comedy show on the Discovery Channel entitled “Cash Cab,” on which he drives people around New York city while asking them trivia questions. People who answered correctly won prizes of $25, $50 and $100, although those who answered incorrectly found themselves summarily dumped out onto the street, regardless of weather or location.

On his web site, Bailey has a collection of articles written about him, including a gag Time magazine cover which bears his stern countenance in an old-fashioned photo and the words: Ben Bailey: Comedian of the Century. He tells Web surfers, however, “Don’t worry, the rest are real.”

Stand-up comedy is a tall order for any aspiring comedian, but Bailey has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom. He has also released a compact disc, entitled “Ben Bailey Blvd,” on which he describes awkward process of applying for jobs and then botching the applications, sending the whole affair horribly astray, to hilarious effect.

If you do end up checking out the show, just make sure you laugh hard and keep any negative comments to a minimum – the brawling Bailey has been known to go after hecklers and trade punch lines for actual fisticuffs.

Whether or not Ben Bailey actually socks you in the gut at his show tonight, you may still get a bellyache from laughing until your stomach hurts.