"I was always a fan of comedy, and I was somewhat witty and clever," says Tim Northern. "But I was never the funny guy with the rubber chicken. I was never that dude. I was not Fozzie Bear, but I had a little wit." That is demonstrated today in Northern's joke writing. "I used to stay up all night and read," he tells an audience. "Until I found out I was illiterate." Continuing that train of thought, he notes that he actually has read a very long book. "It's called the dictionary. And I don't want to spoil it, but it's about an aardvark," he pauses, "that ends up in the zoo." Northern says he's always had a knack for that kind of misdirection. He describes his comedy as a bit of a humorous crossword puzzle. "I'll give you the clue and you fill in the blank." It's a style he developed in an effort to stand apart from other comedians. Indeed, originality is what sparked him to try standup in the first place. "I was watching Def Comedy Jam, and it seemed like the same thing over and over," he recalls. "So, instead of complaining, I thought, 'I'll give it a try.'" That was 27 years ago. "Now, I'm driving a 1995 Honda Accord all over the country and talking to City Pages," he chuckles. With Susie Saccoman. 18+.
May 30-June 1, 8 p.m.; May 31-June 1, 10:30 p.m., 2013