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Christopher Titus to perform at Wealthy Theatre January 15

Christopher Titus will perform his newest special and never-before-seen material this Thursday at Wealthy Theatre.

Christopher Titus at Wealthy Theater Thursday January 15

Tickets to Titus’s performance at the Wealthy Theatre can be purchased online here.

Grand Rapids is a city for comedy: our city sees a lot of great comedians every year, thanks to our local comedy scene and big events like LaughFest.

Few are as good as Christopher Titus, and he's coming to town this Thursday for a show at the Wealthy Theatre.

You should know that Titus, first off, is damn funny.

Second, you should know that he's one of the hardest working comics out there. It's one thing for a comic to do a special; it's another for him to do six. And it's another thing altogether if those specials are an hour and a half each, as Titus's specials are. If you're going to see a Titus show, you're going to get your money's worth in laughs. But you get something else for the price of a ticket too.

"One thing I never like is when comedians complain, but they never offer a solution. I always try to do that, to get to that place. I never want to leave an audience hanging," he says. "I'm not going to offer them some nightmare and then say 'goodnight!' I think every comic should give a little bit of hope."

In Grand Rapids, Titus will perform his greatest hits from his current special, "The Angry Pursuit of Happiness," and a full 35 minutes of new material for a special that's in the works, called "Born With a Defect." This new special is going to explore Titus's views of his kids and kids in general.

"I have kids that are 10 and 13, and this is me figuring that out. If you don't have kids, I can tell you that you're absolutely right; never have children. I'll give you evidence why," he says. "A deer is born, it's up, it's walking, it can survive. A dolphin just knows where to get its first breath of air. A child is born, it needs two full-grown adults around it at all times so it doesn't choke on a Cheerio. It's amazing. We have no reason for us to be here."

It's important to Titus that he's always working on new material. Some comedians will work with the same routine for years, and to him, that's not right. A comic should always be looking to the next bit, the next joke, the next special.

"We don't get to be Bruce Springsteen," he says. "We don't get to have a greatest hits album."

The problem with that, though, is that you have to be a prolific comedian. You have to keep punching in. Titus can do this because he's always teaching himself about situations in his life through comedy. In "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding," Titus is working through his relationship with his father; "5th Annual End of the World Tour" was done to get over 9/11 and to work through the births of his kids; "Love is evoL" saw him through his divorce. Comedy, to Titus, is both classroom and therapy.

Now he is teaching himself, but an audience can learn quite a lot from a Titus show. For instance, thanks to Titus, I know that if you stick your head in a bonfire, you should scream, because if you breathe in, your lungs will collapse and you'll die. I also learned you shouldn't get divorced in California. But the thing Titus always is learning is how to deal with pain, and make it fuel for himself.

"I really wrote those jokes to get rid of it all. The thing is, if you don't put [painful situations] in joke form, it just drags your life down," he says. "If you put it in joke form, though, you can see the absurdity of it. I do that every night I tell a joke."

Titus does a lot of things so that he can get them out of his head, and to work through life. It's a benefit to us that this process is so funny, and worth exploring with him.

When I say Titus is a hard working entertainer, I don't just mean in comedy either. He's an actor, a writer and a game-show host; he produces an excellent podcast; he's done television and movies and more excellent specials than I can wrap my head around. On top of all of this also an avid mechanic, building hot-rods in his spare time. This, he says, he does so that he doesn't kill anybody.

So what does Titus think Grand Rapids, as a city, should be doing to become better?

"Go-karts," he says. "Every city does better when they have more go-kart tracks."

That is advice born of experience: we need engines for our injuries, so our injuries become our engines.

There's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Tickets to Titus’s performance at the Wealthy Theatre can be purchased online or at the show. Doors will open Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

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