Amid fluorescent blue lighting and artwork inspired by ’90s game shows, Kurtis Conner made his Fort Myers debut.
The 28-year-old Canadian comedian and social media personality used cheesy one-liners and personal stories to keep performing arts venue Barbara B. Mann giggling throughout her two-hour show on June 10. It was the second of the “Kurtis Conner Live” tour.
As the headliner, Conner teased the audience with a two-minute “hype” video before prompting a roar of cheers and applause when he sparkled on stage.
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Conner is known on YouTube for his ability to make overused dad jokes ironically laughable. He often features corny jokes and pot humor in his passages. His stand-up comedy followed the same style.
He recalled some of his fan-favorite YouTube phrases during his set, such as “Denver? I barely know her!
His stand-up style differed from his usual YouTube comedy in that it wasn’t as family-friendly. Conner’s YouTube channel has nearly 4 million subscribers.
YouTube maintains strict guidelines for its creators and does not allow the monetization of videos that contain profanity or content that may be deemed harmful.
It was shocking to hear Conner swear and describe his experiences with alcohol and marijuana use. His YouTube content usually focuses on comedic reviews of weird movies and trends.
His routine centered around the COVID-19 pandemic and how he kept himself busy during the lockdown. Conner shared personal thoughts on the pandemic while keeping the subject light with relatable jokes.
Conner explained that he struggled to rationalize the lockdown until he watched a nature documentary about bears. We were all hibernating during the lockdown, he said.
“I think the main difference is that when the bears were hibernating, there weren’t a bunch of other silly (expletive) bears standing right outside all of our dens yelling winter is a hoax,” he said. said Conner.
When Conner asked the crowd if the anti-vaccine movement existed in Fort Myers, the audience responded with a cacophony of laughter and agreement.
Conner has also kept himself busy by exploring new musical genres during the pandemic. He started listening to radio and classic rock.
“That’s great, but have you ever listened to the lyrics of classic rock songs? Do yourself a favor and don’t. Just live your life in blissful ignorance,” he said.
He pulled out dark glasses and read the lyrics to classic rock songs from a little red book. The first song he read was “Stray Cat Blues” by the Rolling Stones.
As he read, “I see you’re 15. No, I don’t want your ID, and I see you’re so far from home,” the audience replied, “No!” between two bursts of laughter.
The show also included sets by comedians Jacob Sharpe and Dean Hebscher.
The two have starred with Conner in other comedy shows before and are featured often on his YouTube channel.
Sharpe kicked off the show with a steamy set about surviving brain cancer. Sharpe was diagnosed with cancer at age 25 and was treated for it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The auditorium was filled with chants of “brain cancer” as he tried to make the audience more comfortable with the word.
Despite the seriousness of the subject, Sharpe managed to make the audience laugh with him by sharing his life-changing experience. He didn’t shy away from tackling heavy topics, which seemed to put many viewers at ease.
At the start of her routine, Sharpe asked the audience how many people suffer from anxiety. The auditorium filled with raised hands and cheers.
Hebscher followed Sharpe’s performance and focused on hometown humor.
During his set, he recalled morbid and comedic times from high school. Hebscher also shared sexually explicit jokes about his time as a camp counselor.
Hebscher’s use of timing and telling long jokes contributed to the success of his routine. He shared some very unfortunate moments in a humorous way providing the larger context later.
Hebscher also described his experience with ADHD and the high dose of Adderall he took for most of his childhood.
The audience shouted and cheered as he addressed the parents directly in the crowd, telling them to be patient with their children rather than jumping on drugs.
Kurtis Conner Live differed from most comedy shows in its subject matter. Each comedian took a topic that many people would be uncomfortable discussing and turned it into a hilarious and entertaining routine.