Tuesday, May 10, 2011 • Dog Tag comics run off the chain

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, May 10, 2011, edition of the Lassen County Times.

The Susanville Elks Lodge bar morphed into a bona fide comedy club Friday and Saturday April 22-23.

Dog Tag comic Pat Shillito gets a little animated during his set at the Elks Lodge Saturday, April 23. If you ever wondered what actor Christopher Walken sounds like speaking as a whale, you need to catch Shillito’s act.

The Dog Tag comics — Pat Shillito, KC Stilwell and Kris Phillips — brought in a handmade stage, curtains, sound and lighting gear and created a cozy but funny environment that looked and felt an awful lot like any comedy or improv show one might attend in any big city in America.

The place was packed with eager comedy lovers — some barely old enough to enter the building and grab a drink and obviously way too young to remember George Carlin’s famous “Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television” routine from the early 1970s and others old enough to remember Lenny Bruce’s many obscenity arrests in the early 1960s for using Carlin’s seven dirty words (and a few more, as well).

Dog Tag comic KC Stilwell proved 151-proof rum makes your tongue wag wildly.

Luckily for the comics and all the comedy lovers in attendance, the obscenity police no longer stake out comedy shows, the three comics did not use all of those seven dirty words and the crowd spent most of the evening sneering, snickering and straight up laughing right out loud.

Still, it wasn’t the kind of humor one would expect from the pulpit, that’s for sure.

Shillito made the fewest trips to the potty mouth jar Saturday night, but Stilwell’s glassy eyed 151-fueled banter led him to jump in with both feet and stomp hard until the jar runneth over. Phillip’s routine fell somewhere in between, so the show offered something for nearly everyone.

Dog Tag comic Kris Phillips was so funny his mother reportedly fell out of her seat during his performance at the Elks Lodge.

Phillips’ mother laughed so hard she reportedly fell out of her chair Friday evening, and Shillito even got a few digs in at his roommate with an impression of someone with a hangover doing the local swapshop radio program.

Brian Taylor handled sound for the evening and Geoff Pregill provided the lighting. The comics recorded the event with three digital cameras and hope to produce their first comedy DVD with the best bits culled from both the Friday and Saturday night performances.

Dog Tag plans a mid-July release party for the new DVD at the Pioneer bar.