A Man Walks Into A Bar

A night on the town with standup impresario Dan Schlissel

By the time the lights go up at Eli's, Schlissel has located his artist. We drive to meet him at yet another of Schlissel's whistle-stops, a downtown bar where he's welcome after hours. It's just us, the artist, and the staff. Even though no one is drinking in the darkened room, we hang out with gusto.

"I find that as I work in comedy more," Schlissel notes, "the more it takes to make me actually laugh. I'll sit there and listen to a joke and go, 'That's funny,' but I won't necessarily laugh. Seeing the wizard behind the curtain has kind of taken away some of the magic of it. But I don't think it's ruined my taste."

By the time we leave, it's after 4:00 a.m. Schlissel has yet another stop to make.

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