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College offers cornucopia of comedians

Series kicks off April Fools' Day with Eric O'Shea
by: contributed photo, Comedian Eric O'Shea

Mt. Hood Community College is in danger of becoming the butt of a series of jokes.

That's because the college is going to host three comedians in honor of April Fools' Day.

No, we're not kidding. We're serious. But the comedians aren't. Except for the fact that they do plan to show up.

April 1 features Eric O'Shea, 2007 Campus Activities Magazine Comedy Performer of the Year. O'Shea, who's apparently become Stephen Spielberg's favorite comedian, is well known for his imitation of Sesame Street character Elmo as well as his use of pop music to create new 'commercials' - for example, a herpes medication spot set to REO Speedwagon's 'Take It On The Run.'

'Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another you been messin' around.'

April 7 features Vic Henley, a pal of fellow redneck comedian Jeff Foxworthy's and a regular presence on Comedy Central. Among his routines you can find on the Web are his observations on the pointlessness of broadcasting NASCAR on the radio.

'They're going left! They're still going left!'

Daniel Kinno wraps up the series April 15. Born in the former Soviet Republic city of Minsk, Kinno muses narratives on topics ranging from the menial tasks of daily life to his Russian heritage. Kinno has been featured on MTV, The Game Show Network and The WB.

The Outlook interviewed two, count 'em, two out of three of these comedians.

O'Shea says he's a PG-13 comedian and had always wanted to perform. He ditched his original goal of becoming a sportscaster when he decided to become a comedian.

'I can't ever stop wanting to share and ask a crowd how a shoe gets on the side of the highway.'

He adds that he considers himself more of comedian/performer than a comic, and wants to make short films. He says he's grateful he won the Comedy Performer of the Year Award but doesn't plan to stop and smell the kudos too long.

'The award is nice, but you are only as good as your last award or show,' he says. 'I have some new songs that are not on the Internet, for example for the finale.'

Meanwhile, Henley, an Alabama native who calls the Big Apple home, says he studied finance in college but ditched that dream for comedy when he realized he had a Southern accent.

'The only thing you can do with this accent is play a white man with limited intellectual ability in the movies or become president.'

He adds that the two roles are not necessarily impossible to play simultaneously.

On that note, the presidential race has produced a lot of fodder for comedians, and Henley says he thinks the country is ready for an African-American to hold the office as well as a woman. The logical choice - Oprah Winfrey. However, he would call her 'Poperah,' so she would combine the authority of the pope with the benevolence of a generous talk show host.

'Not only would you get your tax refund after you file on April 15, you would get a basket of goodies as well.'

April Fools' Comedy Series

Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 S.E. Stark St.

• Eric O' Shea (www.ericoshea.com) 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 1.

• Vic Henley (www.vichenley.com) 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8.

• Daniel Kinno (www.danielkinno.com) 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15.

All shows in the college's main theater.

Admission is $10 for the general public. Non-MHCC students pay $5, while MHCC students get in free. Shows are for audiences 18 and older.

Tickets are available at the door on the night of the performance. For more information, visit www.mhcc.edu.

Sponsored by the Associated Student Government of Mt. Hood Community College.