COMEDY : Jensen's Not Afraid to Let His Variety Show

Dennis McLellan is a Times staff writer who covers comedy regularly for O.C. Live!

Disneyland, says comedian Scott Jensen in his act, is "trying to do its part to kind of defuse the street gang problem in L.A. by offering jobs to gang members."

"I can see something going very wrong here, can't you?" he says, picturing Mickey Mouse absent-mindedly wandering into Tomorrowland: "Hey, yo, Mickey, I thought we told you not to come around this side of the park no more. Hey, yo, Scissors, cut this mouse."

Then, of course, Mickey will have to form his own gang, says Jensen.

"Can you picture Goofy with an Uzi?" Jensen says, mimicking the loose-limbed Disney character toting a deadly weapon. "Scary image."

Jensen, who's headlining at Comedy Land in Tibbie's Music Hall in Huntington Beach Friday and Saturday, is a versatile performer whose comedy includes equal parts joke-telling, impressions and music (he closes with what he calls "The Jewish White Boy Rap").

Speaking by phone from Florida last week, Jensen observed that "every comic wants to have their 'hook'--Rodney Dangerfield has 'no respect,' Billy Crystal has 'You look marvelous,' and I'm still looking for my hook--that one catch-phrase. But right now I just think I'm kind of a multi-entertainment center with the music and the dancing and the jokes."

From an audience point of view, Jensen said, "it's refreshing every once in a while to come across someone that gives you a little bit of variety."

Among Jensen's repertoire of impressions are an "Arthur"-esque drunken Dudley Moore in a comedy version of "Batman" ("I can't remember where I parked the Batmobile. God, I hate it when that happens.") and Bill Cosby doing his answer to Eddie Murphy's raunchy concert film "Raw": "My wife Camille and I, we like to clear our living room, fill it up with Jell-O pudding and roll around in it."

One of Jensen's most memorable impressions is Clint Eastwood. He does Eastwood in his "Dirty Harry" mode, only Jensen offers Clint as a 12-year-old kid chasing his mom around the house with a toy dart gun. Here's young Eastwood, cornering mom in his bedroom:

"Well, I guess there's been quite a bit of excitement today, hasn't there-- Mom? And you know in all this excitement, I can't remember if I fired five darts or six. And this being a .44 magnum dart gun--the most powerful dart gun in the world--I could blow that cheap $3 wig clean off your head.

"Well, I guess you're just going to have to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya? . . . So go ahead-- make my bed!"

Jensen, who now lives in Los Angeles, was raised in St. Petersburg, Fla. As he says in his act, St. Petersburg was kind of a weird place to grow up:

"I remember when I was a kid all my friends were like in their 70s. Yeah, my baseball team was like a cast photo from the movie 'Cocoon.'. . . . I went to St. Petersburg Catholic High School for four years. Which is kind of strange because I'm Jewish. I went out for the football team at St. Petersburg Catholic High School. They made me the quarterback's agent."

Jensen said much of his routine about growing up in Florida, including being "a white Jewish kid being bused to a black elementary school," is true.

Like most comics, he is frequently asked if he has always been funny.

"I guess I've got to say yes," he said. "I remember I could make my sister laugh so hard milk would come out of her nose. And she wasn't even drinking milk at the time."

Jensen, who got into stand-up in 1986 after displaying a flair for comedy during a Beverly Hills acting workshop, was completing a six-week tour of his home state--his first extended tour since having a tumor removed from his head eight months ago.

Jensen said that before undergoing the operation to remove the tumor next to his brain stem, he was told there was a chance he'd wind up with severe facial paralysis, which would have meant the end of his comedy and acting career.

Although he lost the hearing in his left ear, he said, there was no paralysis.

"I'm just happy to do comedy these days," he said.

Who: Scott Jensen.

When: Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30, at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.

Where: Comedy Land in Tibbie's Music Hall, 16360 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.

Whereabouts: Take the Seal Beach Boulevard exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway and go west, turn left on Pacific Coast Highway. Tibbie's Music Hall is at Peter's Landing on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Anderson Street.

Wherewithal: $5.

Where to Call: (714) 979-5653.

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