Comedian Jeff Blanchard has a beef with Eric Thompson, owner of the Warren Comedy Club.
''I don't know why he's using my fat pictures,'' said Blanchard, who will perform at the venue on Saturday. ''He's still using the shots where I look like John Candy.''
Blanchard said he ballooned to 325 pounds while working as a morning radio host on WNCX-FM in Cleveland.
''When you do radio, they bring in enormous amounts of food, and it's not exactly health food,'' he said. ''We're talking four tubs of six dozen wings, rolls and cakes. You just sit and eat and eat and eat. I was always big, but I out of breath getting on stage. When you're getting winded walking up three steps, this is ridiculous.''
When WNCX canceled his show, he dropped 110 pounds by eating less and and avoiding those late-night meals that are the norm for working club comics.
So far there's only been one downside.
WHO: Jeff Blanchard and Kathie Dice
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, doors open at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Warren Comedy Club, Sunrise Inn, 510 E. Market St., Warren
HOW MUCH: $15. For reservations or more information, call 330-506-0114.
''When you become skinny, when you lose a major part of your body, you will freeze for the rest of your life ... You know those girls who are always complaining they're cold. I get it now. I'm girly cold.''
Those lifestyle changes might come up during his headlining set Saturday in Warren, or they might not. Blanchard said he's not one to sit down and craft rigidly scripted bits. The best sets are the ones where he plays off of the audience and sees what direction the crowd takes him.
''I think a lot of it has to do with improv, a lot has to do with inherent laziness and a lot has to do with, I always say if I would have followed one path in my career, I'd be a lot farther along. But things always caught my eye and I'd go off on tangents.''
Blanchard, 46, got his start doing theater, which led him to improv. After studying with Del Close (Second City Chicago), Blanchard co-founded Cabaret Dada Improvisational Theater in Cleveland. It was only after doing improv that he started honing his skills as a standup. Along with independent film, commercial and television appearances, Blanchard said he's done everything from Shakespeare to playing a clown at the Ground Round and announcing shows at Sea World.
''I have a diverse resume that doesn't make me a household name anywhere,'' he said.
In June, Blanchard filmed his standup act at Big Dog Theater in Cleveland Heights, and he plans to release it on DVD later this year. Blanchard has posted plenty of performance clips on his YouTube channel, but he wanted something more professional looking.
''I wanted something a little better than clips mashed together,'' he said. ''I wanted it to look good, especially if I'm going to ask people to buy it.''