IF YOU GO
What: Arnez J & Friends Valentine's Comedy Show.
When: 8:30 tonight.
Where: Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.
Admission: $25 to $35 plus convenience fees.
The comedian known as a "whirling dervish" onstage will headline the Arnez J & Friends Valentine's Comedy Show tonight at Memorial Auditorium.
Joining the Atlanta native will be Clayton English (aka Peanut), special guest Lady Red of Chattanooga and, back by popular demand, host Nick Lewis.
Reviewer Doug Kaufman wrote in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "J is a whirling dervish onstage -- he runs, jumps, spins, slides, slips and mugs through a performance, acting out many of his bits while describing them."
In a news release, J acknowledges he's always expressed himself "through mannerisms and facial expressions rather than speaking."
J had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player but those plans fell through. He was working as a flight attendant when he discovered his comedic talent. He realized that he had the ability to keep the passengers and crew laughing and, with encouragement from friends, he made his first attempt at stand-up comedy. After that first night onstage, he knew what he wanted to do.
He also got to combine his ambitions as an athlete and performer when he was recruited by scouts for the Harlem Globetrotters team. A knee injury ended his basketball days, clearing the way for him to devote himself full time to comedy.
Eventually, he landed the coveted hosting slot on BET's longest-running comedy series, "Comic View," for two seasons, putting him among the ranks of hosts including D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer.
His television appearances include headlining specials for "BET's "Comic View Grandstand" and "Comedy Central Presents."