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Comedy comes to Eastwood

NILES — A double play of comedy will be turned at Eastwood Field in the coming week.

Rob Schneider will appear at the Niles ballpark on Saturday, and Jeff Dunham and his menagerie of characters will be there on Aug. 19.

Schneider first gained fame as a regular cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 1990 to 1994. Since then, he’s appeared in television series (“Men Behaving Badly,” “Real Rob”) and movies, both as a star (“Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo”) and a supporting player with his former “SNL” castmates (“Grown Ups,” “50 First Dates”).

His standup comedy special “Asian Momma, Mexican Kids” debuted on Netflix last year, and earlier this year he finished directing a film called “Daddy Daughter Date” that he stars in with his wife, Jackie Sandler, and daughter, Miranda Scarlett Schneider.

Schneider recently has attracted attention for his Twitter feed and several posts critical of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In an interview with the Vail (Colo.) Daily last month, Schneider talked about how much his political views inform his standup act.

“I want to entertain people,” he told the Daily. “It’s always a mistake to assume people are with your particular political viewpoint. I am a 1970s liberal in a time where that automatically paints you as an arch conservative.

“People are there to laugh. I have no desire to indoctrinate people through comedy, but I do intend to get them all to willingly come to their senses and agree with me on all my flights of whimsy with cult-like devotion. I will hopefully subvert them willingly to a place of agreed-upon nonsense. That said, I do believe people are coming to see comics these days with a hope of having someone make sense of the world for them. That I can do.”

He performs at 8 p.m. Saturday as part of a ballpark tour that also includes Ohio shows at Akron, Dayton and Eastlake. Tickets are $65 and $35.

Dunham is no stranger to local audiences. Early in his career, he regularly performed at the former Funny Farm Comedy Club in Liberty, and even after he was big enough to play theaters in other markets, he continued to play the Funny Farm.

“I tend to be loyal,” was the explanation Dunham gave this newspaper back in 1998.

These days the ballpark might qualify as one of the more intimate venues Dunham has played in the Mahoning Valley. He’s headlined both the Covelli Centre and the Canfield Fair, and he’s a three-time winner of Billboard’s top-grossing comedy tour. His television specials on NBC, Comedy Central and Netflix have drawn large audiences, and his clips on YouTube have been viewed more than a billion times.

According to his website, Dunham’s current tour features a new character — Walter’s online-obsessed grandson Url — as well as old favorites like Peanut, Jose Jalapeno, Bubba J., Achmed the Dead Terrorist and perpetually grumpy Walter.

Dunham told the Montreal Times earlier this year, “Over the past 15 years, I have created new characters as a response to what has been going on in society … I always like to joke about politics. It’s like a china shop that moves its shelves a little bit closer to each other; how far can you go before the bull comes in? And when it comes to political material, I like to entertain as many people as possible on both sides.”

Tickets for the 7 p.m. show range from $59 to $129. Tickets for both shows are available at mvscrappers.com and by calling 330-505-0000.

agray@tribtoday.com

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