by Renee Westbrook
Special to The Record January 26, 2006 3:14 AM
When comic Scott Kennedy tells audiences he is homosexual, it takes many of them by surprise.
After all, Kennedy hardly fits the popular stereotype.
A former linebacker, the Texas native stands a brawny 6 feet tall.
Of course, his mostly macho one-hour routine includes only 10 minutes of such material. Once he gets rolling, audiences are very accepting.
“It’s funny,” Kennedy said. “These big rednecks shake your hand, and they’re like, ‘You’re all right. I’d hang out with you.’ ”
Kennedy comes to town Saturday to headline “A Night of Comedy” at Faye Spanos Concert Hall. Chris Strait and Dwayne Perkins round out the lineup.
Presented by University of the Pacific’s chapter of Circle K International, the annual event serves as a fund-raiser for Pediatric Trauma Prevention and Pediatric Cancer Prevention through the Candlelighter’s Foundation. Last year, the organization raised $600; this year’s target is $1,000.
“We got some really nice guys who want to do something nice for the community,” organizer Angie Vu said. “That’s what our show is pretty much about.”
Los Angeles-based Kennedy got involved as a favor to touring buddy Don Barnhart Jr. Barnhart is Vu’s uncle and he thought Kennedy’s style of comedy would be a good fit.
That style doesn’t include preaching. Kennedy said he hates soapbox comedy, although he thinks his stand-up philosophy has it merits.
“I talk about family and everyday stuff,” Kennedy said. “If there’s any message, it would be don’t judge a book by its cover.”
He has shared those views on “Premium Blend” and his own half-hour Comedy Central special. Kennedy takes particular pride in having entertained troops on USO tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I would be there for a year if I could,” Kennedy said. “It’s the least I could do.”
Kennedy got into stand-up after a friend entered him in a 1986 amateur comedy competition. Within three years, he had quit his long succession of day jobs and began touring the country.
Sixteen years later, Kennedy said he knows he has found his calling.
“I say you never have to pay me to do comedy,” Kennedy said. “All you have to do is pay me to leave my house.”