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Learning through laughter

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI

FRISCO – Hannah Rockey’s improv comedy teacher, Jeff Harms, was so witty, she fell in love with him.

Now Rockey laughs with him every day as his wife.

The two comedians perform at 7 p.m. today as part of a dinner and comedy show at Ristorante Ti Amo. Proceeds benefit the Summit Learning Center.

Each comedian takes his or her solo time on stage. Then the couple plays around with improv games, where audiences come up with an object or common phrase and the comedian who didn’t hear the audience’s input tries to figure out what it is.

“There’s a neat vibe between us on stage,” Harms said. “We know each other so well. We know each other’s habits. We know each other’s buttons to push to entertain ourselves.”

Both comedians take a clean approach to comedy.

Harms uses storytelling, as opposed to joke-telling, in an observational, Seinfeld-esq manner. His material revolves around his kids, parents, travels and experience as a high school teacher in New York.

“I look at life and just sort of turn it on its side,” he said.

“Jeff’s like that goofy relative that you want to sit next to at a holiday dinner,” said fellow comedian Dave Bublitz. “He covers a nice, wide spread of material. He has this wonderful, odd, kind of off-kilter energy.”

Harms was a 1990 national semi-finalist in the Johnnie Walker Red Comedy Competition, has been on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central and “Entertainment Tonight” and works for Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Rockey fills her stand-up with dynamic stories and heartfelt topics.

“There’s a temptation for some women comedians to do women-oriented comedy- things in single bars – but she does not,” Harms said. “She’s just a comedian that goes across the board, that appeals to anyone.”

Age-wise, she is closer to Harms’ kids (from a previous marriage) than she is to Harms himself, and that topic comes up in her stand-up.

She also uses her background in counseling to talk about serious topics, as well as make people laugh. She has opened for Louie Anderson, Kathleen Madigan and Wendy Leibman.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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