by Jazmine Ponce
Arts & Entertainment Editor
With the ongoing stress of day-to-day activities such as work, school and family, one needs to relax and just laugh. One particular place to let the laughter flow is the Ice House in Pasadena, a comedy club for people 18 and over.
Last Thursday, Christopher Titus of Fox’s new series “Titus” performed a one-night-only show. Like his series, he draws from his personal experiences in a dysfunctional family that range from an alcoholic father with five ex-wives to a mother with multiple personalities.
Does not sound funny? Wrong. Titus is extremely hilarious with a quick wit, impeccable comedic timing and is able to change his troubles and problems into laughable and relatable comedy. He uses his comedy as catharsis therapy and some of that therapy rubs off. He also included material on the current event icon of dysfunctional families: Elian Gonzalez.
“When I was a little kid people would say well you got a screwed up life, then I watched Elian Gonzalez this last week.
“Now I don’t wanna be hanging with this kid when he’s 16 and we are all telling those stories about our lives. ‘Yeah my dad used to call me a wussy.’ ‘Yeah well, I flew over in a inner tube from Cuba, mom died, then I was a propaganda tool for the U.S. and the Cuban government. Oh and then some guys broke into my house with big guns and took me away, what do you got Titus?,’ ” he said.
Titus whose series recently got renewed for next fall after six episodes says he decided to pitch his dysfunctional comedy series after he read a Los Angeles Times article. “One day I sat down read the Los Angeles Times and it said, 63 percent of American families are now considered dysfunctional, and I thought my God we’re the majority, we’re normal. It’s those people that have the mom, dad, brother, sister with the white picket fence; those people are the freaks,” he said
Let’s face it, not every family is perfect. Any person who has fought or bickered with their parents, dabbled in mischievous behavior, or had disastrous relationships can relate to being dysfunctional.
One particular characterization of his father that had the audience rawled up was “Anti-dad.” Who couldn’t relate the self-esteem stomping episodes fathers sometimes give.
“As a kid, he was weird, he’d be cool take you skiing, than he start drinking and about three o’clock he’d just change. He’d be the most negative human being on the planet, he was like this negative super hero: anti-dad, where there is hope I will stop it, ‘Dad I got a B on my report card.’ ‘But it’s not an A, now when the smile has left your face I’m off.’ ‘Hey dad, I graduated high school.’ ‘But you didn’t make valedictorian did you boy, when your confidence returns so shall I,’ ” said Titus.
Though he makes fun of his parents in his comedy he has respect for them and praises their sacrifices. Without their dysfunctional behavior he would not be doing his act and would not have it any different.
“Be normal, and the crowd will accept you. Be deranged, and they will make you their leader,” said Titus.
One of his philosophies is “I never fail. I succeed at finding what doesn’t work.” Carbon copy stand-up comedians and their TV series come and go, but when all hope is lost, a creative comedian, like Titus comes along and keeps the audience laughing at his innovative views on life and making connections to their own life. For Titus one would not call that failure, but on the way to success. Remember Titus. He will probably be around for a long time.
The Ice House is located at 24 N. Mentor Ave. in Pasadena. For information on shows and reservations call (626) 577-1894. Price range depending on acts.
“Titus” airs Monday nights on Fox at 8:30 p.m.