Kolinsky to Bring Her N.Y. Edge to Anaheim : Comedy: She'll join Tim Allen and John Mendoza in 'Geno Michellini's Five O'Clock Funnies' at the Celebrity.


Comedian Sue Kolinsky doesn't enjoy going home to see the relatives. Still single at 33, she must pass through what she calls "the negative receiving line." You know the litany:

"When are you going to get married?"

"When are you going to have kids?"

"When are you going to settle down?"

Observes Kolinsky: "Isn't it kind of a generalization that you should be married at 33? That's like looking at somebody who's 70 and saying, 'When are you going to break your hip? All your friends broke their hips. What are you waiting for?' "

The New Yorker with the "semi-tough delivery" and the "through-the-looking-glass wit," as one critic put it, co-stars with comedians Tim Allen and John Mendoza in "Geno Michellini's Five O'Clock Funnies" tonight at the Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim.

This is the fourth comedy show to be presented in Anaheim by Michellini, a KLOS-FM disc jockey whose "Five O'Clock Funnies" segment on afternoon drive-time program features cuts from comedy albums and live interviews with guest comedians.

Allen, of course, is best known for his "men are pigs" routine, which is punctuated by assorted grunts, groans and simian noises as he discusses the power-tool-obsessed suburban male who worships at the pegboard altar in the garage and whose Mecca is Sears. ("Men aren't men until they get to Sears by themselves . . . blindfolded.")

Mendoza, who has appeared on the "Tonight Show" and "Late Night With David Letterman," is known for his barbed wit and sardonic view of life that evolved out of his childhood growing up as a "lab rat" in the South Bronx.

Kolinsky, who was featured in the recent "Six Ladies Laughing: The Lifetime Network Holiday Special" and hosted the "Short Attention Span Theatre" on the Comedy Channel, describes her stand-up act as "comedy with somewhat of an edge."

"It's social commentary," she explained by phone from her home in New York. "I talk about personal issues, things that affect me. I believe it to be very relatable to a lot of people, and it definitely has sort of a New York edge to it."

Added Kolinsky, who is scheduled to make her "Tonight Show" debut next month, "Whatever I'm going through in my life seems to be the main focus of my comedy."

Indeed, as a Boston critic said, "there's a confessional tone to her bits." By the end of Kolinsky's act, audiences know how old she is, that she's unmarried, childless and Jewish.

"I'm very vulnerable on stage," Kolinsky said. "I just really speak from my heart because that's what I know. That's what comes easiest for me."

In her act, Kolinsky talks about everything from her desire to see Jewish kung fu movies ( "Bruce Levy! The only thing he breaks is a 10 for two fives!" ) to surrogate motherhood: "Ladies, could you imagine having a child for somebody else? What is this, the ultimate favor or what? I mean, I think I'm a good friend; I'll help you move. . . ."

Here's Kolinsky on dating people for the wrong reason:

"Did you ever date someone for food?" she says. "It's one of those nights, you're a little bored. Someone calls you up, you kind of don't like him: 'What? Dinner? Let me check the refrigerator. Oooh, ketchup. . . . Yeah, Why don't you pick me up at noon? I'll just hang out and eat with you all day."

Actually, Kolinsky has been involved in a relationship with the same man for six years.

"I feel this is definitely the person I'm going to be with forever," she said. "Yet, there is that fear of commitment. I think that men, when they get to a certain age, no matter what they have--even if they're happy with it--they keep on looking. My theory is that women want a one-way ticket and guys want a Eurail pass."

Kolinsky said she wanted to be an entertainer as long as she can remember. As the youngest of five children, she was an attention-seeking tomboy who did impressions: "of John Kennedy, James Cagney--all the gangster guys. I only did men, which is kind of weird."

Added Kolinsky, who went into comedy seven years ago: "I was always the center of attention as a child, so it kind of went into adulthood, I guess."

Despite tapping her own experiences for much of her act, Kolinsky believes her humor appeals as much to men as to women.

"I think what I pride myself on being a woman in this business is my act does not consist of just of talking about being a woman," she said, mentioning, for example, that she talks a lot about sports. "There is a real crossover in my act."

Unlike Tim Allen, who views men as being not too far up the evolutionary ladder from Neanderthals, Kolinsky has a kinder, gentler view of men.

"I'm not a male basher," she said. "I don't talk about how men are bad people. I love men."

But that doesn't mean she overlooks men's foibles.

"That macho thing, it's so out of hand, " she says in her act. "I went to buy sheets for my boyfriend. Do you know what he said to me? 'Don't come home with anything frilly, with flowers on it.' I said, 'What do you want? Man sheets? . . . Sheets with tools on them?' "

Tim Allen would have loved it. Grunt, grunt.

Sue Kolinsky, Tim Allen and John Mendoza perform tonight at 8 at the Celebrity Theater, 201 E. Broadway, Anaheim. Tickets: $18.50. (714) 999-9536.

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