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Alonzo Bodden talks COVID-19 vaccines, face masks and NBA fans ahead of Spokane Comedy Club dates

UPDATED: Fri., June 4, 2021

Comic Alonzo Bodden laughed when recalling his initial Spokane experience. “I was on a casino tour about 20 years ago. I went all through Washington like I was looking for Sasquatch. When I got to Spokane, I went into the casino (Northern Quest Resort & Casino), and it was the first time I saw penny slot machines. I went up to someone playing the penny slots and said, ‘Here’s a dollar, now you’re a champion.’ ”

When Bodden, 58, performs Thursday and Friday at Spokane Comedy Club, he’s not going to wax about his early days as a standup. The observational humorist will deliver fresh material and revel in his post-Zoom experience.

“I love doing comedy live since I didn’t like doing comedy on Zoom,” Bodden said while calling from his Los Angeles home. “Someone asked me the difference of performing in front of a camera and doing it live, and it’s like the difference between playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and actually stealing a car. There’s nothing like the energy, the adrenaline of doing it in front of an audience.”

Bodden did perform last year in front of crowds, and his alternative gigs weren’t all virtual. “I did shows on rooftops, beaches and parking lots,” Bodden said. “I’m so happy to play indoors again.”

Expect Bodden to riff on those opposed to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. “The theories that people believe to prevent them from getting the vaccine are crazy,” Bodden said. “People think Bill Gates is inserting tracking devices in them. Believe me, Bill Gates doesn’t care where you are. People believe the vaccine is made from dead babies. We are living in a crazy time.”

Bodden didn’t understand why there were so many issues with masks. “I don’t get it,” Bodden said. “It was done for the common good. People don’t want to wear a mask, but it’s alright to carry a gun to school. How strange is that as soon as we opened the country up, we started shooting each other.”

Then, Bodden segued to another type of shooting, those firing pieces of popcorn at NBA players. The passionate hoops fan, who is a full-season ticket holder with the Los Angeles Clippers, is taken aback by fans crossing the line, such as the Philadelphia 76ers fan who tossed popcorn at the Washington Wizards’ Russell Westbrook last week.

“I don’t know what’s going on with the crazy people at NBA games,” Bodden said. “The NBA is not an interactive experience. Some fans think they’re part of the game, but they’re not. It’s funny that fans are messing with these giant Black men who they would be scared of if they were walking past them on the street. You can’t spit on them, and you can’t throw stuff at them like people have been doing over the last couple of days.”

Maybe Bodden can explain why so many comedians are Clippers fans as opposed to Los Angeles Lakers fans. The former team has never won a title while the latter has won 17 NBA championships, tied with the Boston Celtics for the most in history.

“Comics love lost causes,” Bodden said. “That’s why we suffer with the Clippers. It’s hard to explain. It’s also hard to explain why we pay so much to support the billionaires who own the teams. I’ve heard about how billionaires have problems. That’s not true. I can’t help but go off on tangents now, and that’s what I’ll do when I come back to Spokane. It’s going to be fun.”

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