Ah yes, that romantically sweet and corny holiday for lovers -- Valentine's Day -- fast approaches.
And what better way to celebrate love than to take your best gal, your best guy, or your best chum out for a night of belly-busting laughter.
After all, you'll burn more calories laughing than you will eating chocolate.
The Clover Island Inn has just the ticket for some Valentine's Day fun when comedian Brad Upton appears for a Love Laughter & Live Music show Feb. 10. Also performing that night will be the music of the Vaughn Jensen Band.
If you're not familiar with Upton's comedy sketches, you are probably new in town. Upton is a home-grown Tri-City boy who started his adult life as a teacher in the Pasco School District, then gave it all up for the comedy circuit.
That was back in the 1980s. He has performed about 5,000 shows since then all over the country as well as the high seas. He now lives in Seattle.
Upton spends a lot of time entertaining passengers on cruise ships making jokes about everything, including shipwrecks. But in the wake of the recent tragedy when a Holland America cruise ship ran aground near Tuscany, Italy, jokes about sinking ships were censored, he said.
"All the comics who were out at sea, or about to go out to sea after the big shipwreck, got a mass email telling them not to mention the wreck or do any jokes about it," Upton said. "Do they not have a sense of humor?"
Comedy is all about laughing -- sometimes in the face of death, he added.
Upton also is appearing in two upcoming independent films, though he said neither has been tagged with official titles yet.
"Both are being submitted to film festivals to see if they can find distribution deals," Upton said. "I have no idea, though, when they'll be coming out."
In one of the films, as yet untitled, he plays an ex-Navy Seal who is about to snap, and eventually does, he said. "It's a pretty big part and it's funny," Upton said. "I spent about eight days on it in August."
The other film is tentatively called Brett Dangerous, and he has only one scene in it where he plays a slimy YMCA director.
"It's a parody of the 1980s action films," he said. "These two sort of fell into my lap. I'd like to do more, but I don't really pursue them much. I love doing standup comedy too much."
Upton also performed recently at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, where his audience included Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. The two singing stars got a good chuckle out of a joke Upton made about the singer Usher.
"I heard Justin actually laugh out loud," Upton said. "My teens (his two teenage kids) were impressed."
The Love Laughter & Live Music Valentine event starts at 8 p.m., and is open to the 21 and older crowd. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost is $10 at the door. The hotel also offers an overnight package with room, chocolates and breakfast as well as the show for $165. For reservations, call 586-0541.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org