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Swiss Army Robot

Ryan Stout: Comic alchemist

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

It's not uncommon for a comic to blame the audience if a set doesn't go over well on a particular night. One often hears excuses like "They were full of idiots" or "They just didn't want to be challenged" muttered as the failed comic of the hour fumbles over whatever drink he or she seeks out to salvage their ego. But just when audience blaming starts to feel almost excusable, you watch someone like Ryan Stout perform and realize it's not the audience at all. It can't be. Stout, after all, doesn't just challenge an audience, he outright stirs the pot. Like a diabolical alchemist turning what others would dismiss as a shit night into a bar of gold, he strikes through his act with precision and absolute authority. What others would deem "offensive" he turns inside out with absolute logic. The same intellectualism (buoyed by a complete lack of swear words) gives his bits on abortion and rape, for instance, a relevance unlike any comic I've heard before. Such skills have earned him numerous televisions spots and featured performances at many festivals abroad. Dare to be converted. $15; 8pm Wed-Sun & 10:15pm Fri-Sat, April 11-15, Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, 618 NW Loop 410, (210) 541-8805,

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