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A Celebration-like comedy region?

A Celebration-like comedy region?

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If the Central Illinois comnedy scene becomes a comedy version of Decatur Celebration, that's fine by me.

Gilbert Gottfried performs at the Decatur Civic Center on Sunday, June 5. This comes on the relative heels of Kevin Meaney performing at Decatur's Lincoln Square Theatre and at Mason City Limits. And let's not forget Will Durst's series of appearances at Mason City Limits over the years.

Gottfried is an interesting choice for Decatur. It's not one on which I would have been willing to gamble, but that's more because the general tastes around here have regularly confused me. I'm glad my living doesn't depend on bringing in touring acts and selling tickets. I'd have been broke dozens of times by now. I'm a fan of Gottfried, but I know how he can annoy some people. Are there enough people in Decatur to make his appearance worthwhile and profitable?

I hope so. One of the great things about comedians is they are only expected to stay sharp mentally. Both Emo Phillips and Bobcat Goldthwait, contemporaries of Meaney and Durst and Gottfried, have made a number of appearances in Mason City, Springfield and Peoria during the past 10 to 15 years. Goldthwait is rounder and has less hair, and has only recently abandoned his opening line of “Yeah, you don't look the same either.” Phillips talked about his hair being gray for a movie. “I can get it on the senior discount now.”

All of the comics are delivering new material as well, some of them making direct references to their own pasts, mocking as well as celebrating. At its best, that's what happens at Decatur Celebration as well.

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