Rock and roll comedy show is ‘cross between Weird Al and a tribute band’

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The Jack Willhite Rock & Roll Comedy Show will be in Livingston, Saturday, March 31. The show will be held at the Livingston’s Elks Lodge at 7 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Jack Willhite)

The Jack Willhite Rock & Roll Comedy Show is coming to town Saturday night.

Willhite’s show is a one-man act, complete with a real guitar and costume changes. He does parodies of well-known musicians and well-known songs.

“I’m a cross between Weird Al and a tribute band,” Willhite cracked during a Wednesday afternoon phone interview.

Weird Al Yankovic, of course, is the famous parodist who makes fun of contemporary songs and artists.

Willhite spoke a little about how his comedy/musical show got started after he worked several years in the corporate world.

“I figured I’d go do it for a year and a half and then go back to a real job,” Willhite said.

It’s been nearly 20 years now, and he still hasn’t gone back to a real job.

He cracks that the difference between working for himself versus in the corporate world is that he gets to choose his own hours.

“Once you’re running your own business, you get to pick which 80 hours you want to work a week,” he laughed.

Willhite said he started out as a basic standup monologist, but noticed when he did a bit of song parodies, he got a different response.

“One bit had Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, and I got a completely different reaction from the audience,” he said.

Slowly, he added a guitar and some costume changes, and morphed from standup to his current one-man rock and roll comedy show.

The characters he parodies have had to change over the years, Willhite said. He tries to find artists who have an 80/20 recognition factor with his audiences.

“I try make it recognizable for as many people as possible, Willhite said.

And if his lyrics get stuck in someone’s head rather than the original?

“Mission accomplished,” Willhite joked.

Willhite says he would rate his show “PG-17” for occasional drug and alcohol references, but the show is by no means “blue,” he said.

Willhite, who is from Richmond, Virginia, travels solo with a half-ton of equipment that all fits into his Ford Explorer with a gear box on top, he said, and he’s on the road about 50 weeks a year most years.

Willhite’s show takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Livingston Elks Lodge. Tickets are $12, and proceeds from the show benefit the Lodge’s scholarship fund.

Tickets available at the Livingston Elks at 222-2250 and Dean Hendrickson Insurance.