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Joe Torry

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When Joe Torry's time came to live up to his reputation as the funny Def Jam host from St. Louis, he left no one disappointed. He didn't seem to know when to quit as he talked nonstop about a female in the audience for a half an hour. She stood and began heckling him when he called her and her friend, "the nappy-headed twins" because they arrived late. He continued to belittle her by saying, "Sit your fat ass down," as the audience laughed wildly and applauded. When she knew she couldn't win the insult match with Torry, the irate girl left the show.

The rest of his stand-up was hilariously entertaining. Torry addressed a wide-range of topics, including his distrust of police officers, his role in "Poetic Justice," and his father who was psychologically affected by the Vietnam war. He also joked about being poor in college and having to eat Ramen noodles when hungry.

"Y'all know the number one meal in college is noodles. Those noodles will always come through. I ain't got no money but I got a closet full of noodles," he said.

Jeff B., who has been seen on television comedy shows such as, "Def Comedy Jam", "Comicview", and "Showtime At the Apollo," opened the show. He approached the Shryock stage in a red Chicago Bulls shirt and snug leather overalls, making mocking comments about the O.J. Simpson trial, R&B singers and roaches in his home. His jokes were comical, but they were even funnier the first time I heard them in a comedy routine he did on a TV show this year. Jeff B. is an alumnus of SIUC, and the audience gave him an enthusiastic and warm welcome back.

Torry said he's currently on three different comedy tours, which keeps him busy these days. Though he enjoys the travel and variety of the Def Jam Tour, the college tour and his own show dates, Torry said he often enjoys performing his comedy skits in small clubs as opposed to large halls that seat thousands.

"Sometimes you get tired of doing a forum in front of six thousand, seven thousand people," Torry said. "It's a thing about getting too big for people. You have to come back and do a little something so people will know you're still real."

The "big picture" for the body-building actor/comedian may lie in film. Torry said while he still enjoys acting (appearing in "Tales From The Hood" and "Poetic Justice"), he's writing a screenplay. He wants to avoid being typecast for roles due to his physical appearance.

"I'm to the point where something has to be written for me or I'm writing it myself. I can never go audition for a part because writers and directors only see me as a certain type. I give off a presence that's mature, but face-wise I could play a younger person."

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