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September 19, 2007

Can you handle this Rusty cage?

Rusty Z, ‘the Hypno Hipster’Sept. 19-23Comedy Caravan1250 Bardstown Road459-0022www.comedycaravan.comRusty Z, the Hypno-Hipster, will make you laugh, sure, but he might also help you stop doing things you want to stop (nicotine and reality TV) or start doing things you might find awkward (hamming it up on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, for instance).This is because Rusty Z is a real hypnotist. I know. Before I got off the phone with him recently, I’d shared my MySpace password and promised to do my Tom Sobel impersonation for him.* Here’s what he had to say.LEO: You throw “hypnosis parties” for audiences. What will we see?RUSTY Z: I’ll do comedy at the beginning, then we go into hypnosis and get volunteers. Some people will be talking like pirates. Otherwise, people will be doing anything from forgetting their name to being annoyed at people who forget their name. Speaking languages most people have never heard, like the Martian language, and hallucinating in different ways. Little things, like seeing yours truly undressed.LEO: It seems the hypnotee is vulnerable.RZ: It seems like it, but it’s not true. You’re not gonna do anything you wouldn’t normally do.LEO: So if you directed someone to take off their clothes, they would only do it if they would anyway?RZ: Yeah. You’ve gotta be careful with that — there are some who are less inhibited than others. It’s like Mardi Gras — most women aren’t gonna flash you, but at Mardi Gras, they all seem to.LEO: You’ll also lead a smoking cessation seminar on Sunday. Do you smoke?RZ: That’s an interesting story. Off and on for quite a while, and for about five years straight, I was smoking one or two cigars a day. I got a call from an NFL player who was also smoking a few cigars a day, and he wanted to stop. During the session I closed my eyes and sat back and did the usual, “You don’t smoke cigars” thing. I was under hypnosis, too. He has stopped smoking, and in the last three years, on two of my birthdays I’ve smoked cigars and one I didn’t. So in three years, I’ve had two cigars.LEO: Tom Sobel of Comedy Caravan says the funniest people are the ones working the clubs.RZ: I think that’s right. What’s funny is that most people don’t hear of people till they are famous. They’ll say Jim Carrey is really funny — he can make a face while he’s doing someone else’s lines. But they probably never saw Jim Carrey at his funniest.LEO: Parting shot?RZ: This doesn’t have a lot to do with my show, but with talent in general. I encourage people to create the buzz rather than following the buzz. As far as I’m concerned, nobody who’s ever been on “American Idol” has ever brought anything new to the table. People should get off the couch and see new people before you can’t afford to see them.LEO: You are a dreamer, aren’t you? You must be hypnotized.RZ: Exactly.*I must have been hypnotized, because I never share my impersonations with strangers. Contact the writer at cstemle@leoweekly.com