COMEDIAN COMES TO TOWN, BRINGS HOUSE DOWN

“You can do it!”

Rob Schneider opened his Oct. 20 performance at Sandy Springs’s The Punchline with his classic comedic catchphrase, sparking raucous laughter from the packed house at the evening’s early show. He didn’t let the laughs die down, repeating the goofy refrain ad nauseam and then finally and suddenly deadpanning:

Rob Schneider performs at the Punchline in Sandy Springs last week. PHOTO / Lauren Volkerding

“What if that’s all I did for the rest of the night?”

With a tremendous stand-up routine, the “Saturday Night Live” veteran and movie star proved that he’s much more than just Adam Sandler’s sidekick. He had the audience guffawing from start to finish, refuting once and for all that he’s “ever the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

True enough, some of Schneider’s best-known appearances in feature films are in cameos or supporting roles (see “Surf Ninjas,” “The Waterboy,” “Big Daddy” and, most recently, “Grown-Ups”).

But those naysayers who take that to mean he can’t carry his own weight as a funnyman need only see his solo act, which on this recent night included hilarious-but-poignant reflections on getting older and its effects on one’s aptitude to have late-night fun.

“People in their 40s are like, ‘If I party again tonight, I’ll die!’” he joked at one point in his routine. “They’re like, ‘I’ve had three glasses of wine last night – I can’t go to work this week! I stayed up to watch the 11 o’clock news, and now I can’t feel my face!’”

With the presidential race nearing its finish, Schneider also incorporated some smart political humor. He poked fun first at our current president:

“Obama’s running on the idea of, ‘I know things suck now, but if it wasn’t for me, it would have been way worse!’”

Then, his bit about Candidate Mitt Romney led to riotous observations on Mormonism:

“We don’t have to attack people because of their religion, but we also have the freedom to say, ‘Hey, that’s a weird religion. Not exactly scientology, but pretty close.’”

All in all, the man some sadly know only as “Deuce Bigalow” delivered a topical and uproarious evening of entertainment. What’s more, he showed true character, delaying his dinner break between shows to pose for photos with any inquiring fans and providing the Atlanta Jewish Times with a quote on his Jewish background.

“Well, my dad was Jewish, and my mom was Catholic, so I got all of the guilt,” he laughed. “But, luckily, I also got all of the goofy, and I’ve been fortunate enough to make a career out of it.”

By John McCurdy / Managing Editor