"I've always been a comedian," says Jimmy Shubert while heading to a commercial audition in Los Angeles. "But being a comedian is not a means to an end, it's an end to a means. It's not enough to be a funny standup comedian anymore, you gotta do everything else." Actually, Shubert wasn't always a comedian. He started out as a magician when he was 15. "When I was 18 I hung up the wand, retired the rabbit, and decided I just wanted to be funny." Out of respect to his former craft, he decided against doing so-called comedy/magic shows. "I thought it was its own art form and deserved some respect." He wound up at L.A.'s famous Comedy Store, where the late Sam Kinison took him under his wing, as did Kinison's close friend Carl LaBove. "That was a baptism by fire," he recalls. Heading out on the road with Kinison and LaBove was a whole new world. LaBove in particular taught Shubert how to make a 5,000-seat theater or arena feel as intimate as a comedy club. The two remain close to this day. "Carl's one of my best friends. He's like my big brother," he says. Shubert eventually went to Florida to develop his comedy voice outside of L.A.'s spotlight. He came back to California via a successful appearance at the Montreal Comedy Festival. It was at that point he started acting and doing voiceover work in addition to standup. It's been a mellower existence compared to the early days with Kinison and LaBove. "Hanging out and partying with those guys, I'm lucky to be alive," he laughs. 18+; 21+ later shows.
Oct. 24-28, 8 p.m.; Oct. 26-27, 10:30 p.m., 2012
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