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Double the fun

Veteran comics G. David Howard and Ken Whitener team up for a show they hope is just the beginning.

By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
Published February 2, 2007


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One bills himself as "The Funniest Man Alive." The other calls his act "Spellbinding Fun."

On Feb. 9, the two will get together at the Palace Grand in Spring Hill for the first time ever to launch what they hope will be a show they can take to large theaters and performance halls.

They're comedian G. David Howard and comedy-illusionist Ken Whitener doing "Two...Much Funny!"

"G. David Howard and I became very good friends four or five years ago," Whitener said. "I've performed two or three months at his Brewmasters" Steak House, a waterfront restaurant and Tiki bar Howard co-owns in Indian Rocks Beach. Howard performs there Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, except when he has a show like the one at the Palace Grand.

Whitener and Howard have been in show business for more than 25 years each. Whitener's specialty is motivational speaking, teaching and entertainment; Howard's is comedy, pure and simple, though it is geared for an adult audience.

"I won't do 'blue' material," Howard said of his Palace Grand performance. "This will be theater-type material."

Howard's most notable claim to fame is that he holds the record in Guinness World Records (formerly Guinness Book of Records) for doing uninterrupted stand-up comedy longer than anyone else in the world.

He set the record at 15 hours, 55 minutes and 35 seconds - "they gave me credit for 16 hours" - in July 1979 at the Clearwater Hilton.

It's a record that will stand forever.

"The medical people said it wasn't good to go 16 hours without, uh, using the facilities," he said. Now the rules require the comedians to take a five-minute break every few hours.

"I was the last one to do it (without a break) so that 16-hour thing will never be broken," Howard said.

Howard, who performed for six years in Las Vegas, moved his act to Florida after Vegas clubs began demanding a 60-day noncompete clause in his contracts.

"I'd have to go out on the road for six or seven weeks between every contract," he said. Soon, he said, "I got tired running through hotels. The work became getting to the gig."

Besides, he missed his wife (they've been married 43 years) and four sons.

Whitener spent time on the road, too, doing festivals, television shows, lectures and speaking engagements before and since moving to Florida. He's done several sold-out shows at the Palace Grand in the last 18 months.

"We want to get some good video" from the Palace Grand show, Whitener said, "to make TV spots for future promotions."

Howard will take the first hour of the show for his comedy. Whitener will do the last hour, bringing audience members up on stage to demonstrate his prowess at hypnotism.

"We think it'll be a good combination," Whitener said.

If you go

Two comedians, one show on Feb. 9

What: "Two...Much Funny!" starring comedian G. David Howard and comedy hypnotist Ken Whitener.

Where: The Palace Grand, 275 Della Court, Spring Hill.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 9; doors open at 6:30 p.m. for food and beverages for purchase.

Tickets: Show only, $20, plus tax. Call 1-888-655-7469. Show is appropriate for ages 18 and older.

[Last modified February 1, 2007, 23:35:06]


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