Craig Gass brings his comedy and celebrity voices to Ann Arbor this weekend
On Wednesday, stand-up comedian Craig Gass sat in the back of the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase watching local comedians perform their routines at the club's open mic night. Gass has been in southeast Michigan since Monday, cropping up at the Lions game wearing a Seahawks jersey and doing the studio hop from station to station in a rapid tour of local radio shows.
You may have seen Craig Gass most recently on ABC's reality show "The Next Best Thing" or as one of the roasters at A&Es "The Gene Simmons Roast." He's been heard doing voices on "Family Guy" and "American Dad" as well as gracing the airwaves of the Howard Stern show for years.
He's had supporting roles on "Sex and the City" and "The King of Queens" as well as on the NBC show "Las Vegas." Among the celebrity personalities living within his larnyx are Al Pacino, Tracy Morgan, Mitch Hedberg, Adam Sandler, Yoda and Christopher Walken.
At the end of Wednesday's open mic, Gass took the stage as the night's special guest, telling an anecdote of a party he was at of Tracy Morgan's doing a few impersonations along the way.
He extolled the virtues of open mic, saying you never know when the next Dave Chappelle or Jerry Seinfield is practicing on stage right in front of you. Gass made the crowd promise to come back to the showcase again to support live comedy.
"And," he joked, looking out at the open mic crowd that filled only the first rows of the show room with a capacity of over two-hundred, "would it kill you to bring a few friends?"
Craig Gass' comedy is a mix of raunchy humor often told in one of his many characters and backstage-life vignettes of encounters he's had with famous comedians and TV personalties, including the very people whose voices he impersonates. He'll be appearing this Thursday, Friday and Saturday along with local Detroit stand-up veteran Keith Lenart.
Ryan Levin is a University of Michigan Screen Arts and Cultures graduate and a film and comedy blogger. He currently moonlights as a waiter and bartender at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.