When it comes to comedians, Jan McInnis and Kent Rader are opposites. The former loves the simple set-up punchline jokes, the other likes stories.
Despite their different approaches, they share a similar affection for not taking the easy route to a punchline with cursing.
“I have nothing against profanity. I use it regularly in my everyday life. I just don’t do it onstage,” Rader said.
Both comedians, who have been touring for decades, will headline the “Baby Boomer Comedy Show” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Ruby Theater, 615 S. 10th St. The event is presented by Robidoux Resident Theatre.
A Missouri native, Rader has made it a point to bring his “Baby Boomer” show to St. Joseph.
“I love St. Joe. When I was young, it was the place to go to when we wanted to do something,” he said.
This tour stop will be different, as he’ll split his set with McInnis, a comedian with more than 25 years of experience onstage.
“It’s a wonderful dichotomy. The male perspective versus the female perspective,” Rader said.
It’s a thrill for McInnis, who said she was delighted to join him on tour to perform family-friendly material.
“I think it takes more work to find the punchline when you’re not using profanity. You can be suggestive, but you don’t have to be graphic,” she said.
McInnis comes from the school of comedians like Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield, where the set-ups and punchlines come at a rapid pace. She said it started out that way because she was nervous. Eventually, it became her preferred joke-delivery system.
“I never thought I could hold people’s attention for that long,” she said, laughing.
Starting out her career doing topical material, McInnis found it easier to focus on jokes that come from a more personal place.
“(Topical jokes) are very hard to keep up with. For me, there’s always going to be a drunk celebrity doing something stupid. You can just swap names out and the joke still works,” she said.
While Rader’s jokes are personal, they’re also told in a longer format.
“I had a grandmother and a great-great aunt, they both told stories and they were funny. I could listen to them tell those stories over and over again,” he said.
The focus of their sets mainly pertains to families and relationships — basically, relatable things for people who’ve experienced the major ups and downs of life and have come out laughing.
When they perform, each does his or her own set and then they come together for a finale that includes taking questions from the audience.
“People seem to really enjoy the Q&A, getting a chance to talk with touring comedians,” McInnis said.
Both said while their performance has “Boomer” in the title, it’s a show for everyone.
“They should come expecting to laugh and have a great time,” McInnis said.
For tickets, call RRT at 816-232-1778 or visit rrtstjoe.org.
— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live