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Starr Time

Comedian hits middle age, looks back on comic legends.

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Stand-up comedian Joe Starr is beginning to feel his age. “Every damned day I’m reminded, as my body falls apart,” laughs the 37-year-old New Yorker. “I have to accept the fact that I’m actually middle-aged. The average life expectancy of males in this country is 74.”

Plus, doctor’s visits are getting a little awkward, he says. “It’s embarrassing explaining how I hurt myself. It used to be something like a car accident or falling off a roof. Recently, I blew my shoulder out folding laundry. To be fair, it was a big towel.” The injury resulted in an MRI exam -- a first for Starr. “The machine looks huge -- until you take 277 pounds of comic and try to get him into it,” he says. “Did you ever see them stuff a sausage? It’s the same thing.” Comedy comes naturally to Starr. His grandfather was a vaudeville performer, and his own style leans toward classic laughs. “Older comics did not have vulgarity to fall back on,” he says. “You had to be either witty or incredibly fast.” He cites Milton Berle’s throw-it-all-out-and-see-what-sticks style as inspiration. “Flexibility is the key. You have to be able to do a show for an hour in front of kids and their parents, and then turn around and [do something different for] 3,000 drunken college kids.”
June 27-28, 8 p.m.; June 29-30, 8 & 10:15 p.m.; Sun., July 1, 7 p.m.

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