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story.lead_photo.caption My Funny Valentine

Families have shorthand in their conversations. Not all of it makes sense, comic Pat Hazell admits, but a lot of it is funny, in or out of context.

Hazell, one of six kids, had to compete for his turn to speak at the dinner table, he remembers. "I didn't know how to cut through the clutter," he says, but in looking past his father's head, out the back window to the side yard, he happened one evening to see the neighbor lady walking past.


‘My Funny Valentine’

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8; 7 & 9 p.m. Feb. 9

WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

COST — $25 & up

INFO — 443-5600

"Mrs. Gibbons is having an affair with the milkman," he shouted, bringing conversation at the table to a screeching halt.

"For our family, that became the universal 'If you have something important to say, start it with "Mrs. Gibbons is having an affair with the milkman."'"

Hazell went on to be even funnier, writing for "The Tonight Show" and NBC's "Seinfeld" and is currently touring with Dena Blizzard in a show called "My Funny Valentine." It looks, he says, at relationships, dating, parenting and family life from two different perspectives -- his as a divorced man, hers as a wife and mother.

Hazell says when it comes to love, "men are confused from the get-go." It starts early in grade school, when students are supposed to give everyone Valentines. "But you want to give one to somebody special who doesn't know they're special. So you give them a bigger Valentine or write something dopey on it. You can't do that as an adult. So then you do things that are even dumber.

"I thought I was a catch," he adds. "Turns out I was a catch and release. But I am a hopeless romantic. I still believe in true love and monogamy and all those things."

After an evening of stand-up comedy, "at the end, Dena and I sit on stools and answer questions written anonymously by the audience in the lobby," Hazell concludes. "While we're not actual therapists, we're happy to give our advice -- and we can't be sued because we're not actual therapists!"

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 02/04/2018

Print Headline: Comics Find Laughs In Love

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