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Finding humor as baby boomers; comedy show is fundraiser for United Way

Veteran comedians Jan McInnis and Kent Rader will join forces to bring the 90-minute Baby Boomer Comedy Show to Dickinson on Saturday, Nov. 18. The performance starts at 7 p.m. in the Dickinson State University Beck Auditorium.

“We emphasize that it’s clean comedy, but it’s also funny,” said McInnis, who was recently touring the East Coast. “We will appeal to anyone who isn’t a baby boomer too -- we just focus on baby boomers, but others will get it.”

They reminisce about growing up before seat belts, safety helmets, cell phones or Facebook.They remember candy cigarettes, traveling carnivals  and when kids ran home after  the street lights came on.

McInnis and Rader have been doing the show for five years.They tour separately  for corporation and association events, but come together a couple times a month to do the baby boomer show.

“We do a question-and-answer segment at the end of the show -- it’s unique in that you get to ask questions. Seinfeld and Leno don’t generally do this,” McInnis said.

For McInnis, life is full of “finding the funny.”  She was in charge of the “Joke of the Day” at the junior high school lunch table and started her career as a marketing director. Over the past 20 years, she’s been touring the country, speaking  to hundreds of conferences, banquets and retreats. She is the author of “Finding the Funny FAST” -- how to create quick humor to connect with clients and crowds.

During a comedy tour of Florida, Rader said, “I’m more of a storyteller and Jan is the oldtime set-up punchline comedienne -- also we’re a male and female, I’ve been married for 33 years and have children and grandchildren and she’s single.”

He tells stories about his family -- like the day they cleaned out his wife’s grandmother’s house. They came across a recipe for ‘pork cake,’ and somehow that struck him as funny.

“Jan has  this wonderful joke about how our generation used to call 911 on a rotary phone -- my grandson wonders what kind of games we played on our phones,” he said.

His comedy has evolved over the years.

“When I first started out, I wanted approval of the audience; today, after doing comedy for 20 years, it’s much more about bringing joy to the audience -- it changes the whole perspective. I love hearing people laugh,” he said.

Their show starts out with several minutes together, then separate comedy routines, and then answering questions at the end.

“That’s a lot of fun, because I’ll hear things about Jan I’ve never heard before,” he said.

Rader stresses the show is clean comedy.

“We don’t say anything profane -- we don’t use profanity as a punchline,” he said.

When touring separately, Rader teaches that  laughter matters in reducing stress and building quality organizations. He spent 17 years in public accounting and hospital administration before becoming a professional speaker in 1997. He authored the stress reduction book titled “Let It Go, Just Let It Go” released in 2002. He has performed stand-up comedy in clubs from New York City to Seattle and is the winner of the 2007 Branson Comedy Festival.

For more information about the show, visit www.BabyBoomerComedyShow.com.

The show is a fundraiser for the United Way of Dickinson -- $25 per ticket or $30 at the door. Tickets are available at Quality Quick Print. For ticket information contact United Way at 701-483-1233 or via email a unitedway@ndsupernet.com.

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