MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Twentynine Palms Combat Center service members and families enjoyed a night of laughter and cheer at Marine Corps Community Services’ and Funny Farm Entertainment’s Comics on Patrol at the base theater Oct. 16.
Audience members laughed enough to be jumping out of their seats from the performances of Katz Productions, a comedy group that tours Southern California. The group recently performed at MCCS base clubs Excursions and Hashmarks in May 2004. Kelly Coe, marketing, MCCS, said the show had a great response, enough to request an encore.
"We had a lot of requests for the comics since last time, so we thought we would do this again to build up morale and give something for everyone to see,” said Coe.
On a Friday night, many Marines and Sailors could have left for the weekend; however, they said they couldn’t refuse another comedy show.
“I liked the idea that it was a free comedy show,” said Lance Cpl. Lupe Rodriguez, repairable issue point, Combat Service Support Battalion 10. “It was a great event for a Friday night. I appreciate the comedians taking the time to come down here in the middle of nowhere.”
Alan Katz, comedian, Katz Productions, didn’t hesitate in asking volunteers from the audience to have their time the under spotlight. Lyndi Carbajal, housewife, was asked to say general female phrases to her friend, while Katz translated the phrases into “guy talk.”
“It was fun and easy,” said Carbajal. “I just read chick phrases while the other guy interpreted what I said in ‘guy talk.’ I loved the show.”
“It was a fun group to perform for on-stage tonight,” added Katz.
It wasn’t the first time for all of the comedians to perform in front of a military audience; for a few of them, it was another show for the Armed Forces after returning from various deployment areas.
Kira Soltanovich, comedian, recently returned from a USO United Service Organizations performance in Japan, while Bob Perkell, comedian, returned from performing in Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Djibouti.
“I’ve done this before for [the service members], and tonight was a great crowd,” said Soltanovich, who has performed on Comedy Central and the Oxygen Network. “The guys overseas just want to have fun, and it was nice for them to see a piece of home at the shows.”
“I love being a comedian. It’s different, and what better gift to give than the gift of laughter? It helps you forget the pressures of day-to-day things,” said Perkell, who has been a stand-up comedian for 50 years.
Many of the audience members said they loved the performances and hope for a future encore.
“The second guy, Roger—he was awesome,” said Pvt. Brenden Cutler, student, Bravo Company, Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School. “He was crazy. He had lots of energy and was funny with the military jokes.”
“I agree. I liked the Marine and Navy jokes; that’s how you make Marines laugh,” said Pvt. Brandon Blake, also a student with Bravo Company, MCCES. “I wish I were here longer to enjoy more of these events.”