What: The Royal Comedy Tour
When: 7 p.m., Saturday
Where: The Orpheum Theater, 910 Hennepin Ave., MinneapolisCost: $43-$53
When the comedians Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Earthquake and Mark Curry take the stage, they own it.
“You’re gonna get what you always get with Earthquake: total ignorance,” Earthquake said.
Earthquake seems to be along for the ride — ready to go at any moment, much like his stage name.
“I had to give myself a fighting chance, man,” Earthquake said. “Nathaniel Stroman doesn’t roll off the tongue.”
The Royal Comedy Tour features black comedians and gets billed as an “urban” comedy tour, which pigeonholes the performers and does not do them justice.
“My comedy has no color,” Bruce Bruce said. “My comedy is not a black show; it’s not a white show.”
Bruce Bruce’s observations, like people who laugh from the gut without smiling, stem from a lot of people-watching and professional experience. He is prolific — two decades in stand-up with time spent hosting BET’s “Comic View,” headlining numerous festivals across the country and his own specials on Comedy Central and Showtime.
“I never watch other comedians now,” Bruce Bruce said. “That’s what makes me so different from other comedians because it’s very easy to pick up on their style. I just do me.”
He has the opportunity on the road to hone his observations into barbs that he gleefully and indiscriminately chucks at his chosen targets.
Earthquake doesn’t have a set routine when he goes on stage — his comedy will change depending on what’s on his mind at any given moment.
His mind can be just about anywhere, too. This is a man who used to load nuclear weapons onto B-52s while in the U.S. Air Force; he once dropped one in an incident that was classified a “broken arrow.”
“For me, it was kind of like, the [military] isn’t working any more, and nothing else came along,” Earthquake said. “So, comedy must be my destiny.”
Bruce Bruce also fell into comedy almost by accident.
“I never tried to make people laugh — I’d say something, and everybody would be laughing, and I’m like ‘I’m serious,’” Bruce Bruce said. “I was married at the time, and my wife didn’t think that I should do it, so that really pushed me to do it.”
His talent was developed largely as a defensive tactic that helped him while growing up in a bad part of Atlanta.
“I grew up in the hood — it’s no joke,” Bruce Bruce said. “I got beat up a lot, so I learned how to talk about people.”
The tour is a celebration of a rich comic history where Milton Berle and Redd Foxx could look down from the rafters and smile alike, knowing that their legacy will continue.
“My comedy is for everybody,” Bruce Bruce said. “I really believe, no matter what race or color you are, everybody wants to laugh.”