Comedian Brad Upton bah-humbugs Valentine's Day as a corny holiday.
But does he really hate it?
You can find out Feb. 14 when Upton co-headlines the Sweethearts Comedy Soiree at the Red Lion Hotel next to Columbia Center mall in Kennewick.
Also performing will be Frances Dilorinzo and Bahiyyih Mudd. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
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Upton is a former Tri-City teacher who gave up his day job more than two decades ago to become a comic.
He gives a grunt when asked if the sweethearts gig is right up his alley as a romantic guy.
"Ugh!" he says. "I hate it. It's the first of four months in a row of buying the perfect gift."
And it all starts just before V.D.
"I have to find a gift, do it right, don't mess up for Valentine's Day," he said. "Then on March 14 it's our anniversary, so I have to find a good gift, do it right, don't mess up."
And if that wasn't enough of a demand to be thoughtful, courteous and romantic, he has to worry about his wife's birthday April 13 and then Mother's Day in May.
"And it's always: Find a good gift, do it right and don't mess up," Upton joked. "Make it all go away, please!"
All joking aside, Upton is excited about the hometown gig, as well as working with Dilorinzo again.
"Frances and I had great fun working together in Reno at Catch a Rising Star a few years ago," he said.
Upton, who now lives in the Seattle area, just returned from a comedy gig in Saigon. He's also a regular performer on various cruise ship lines. His humor has earned him plenty of comedy titles since leaving the Tri-Cities in the 1980s, like top comic at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. He's made several appearances at Catch A Rising Star, Evening at the Improv and MTV's Half Hour Comedy Hour.
He's also opened for such celebrity entertainers as Joan Rivers, Johnny Mathis and Pam Tillis.
Dilorinzo is described by critics as a comic who puts the fun in funny, and her stand-up appeals to as many men as it does women.
Mudd, who grew up in the Yakima Valley, uses her comic sass to tell stories about the sadness of growing up toyless and tucked away on a failing alfalfa farm outside of Yakima.
Tickets to the Sweethearts Comedy Soiree are $70 for couples and $40 for singles. Must be 21 and older to attend. Cost includes chocolate pastries.
Tickets online at http://www.seizethedeal.com/cities/tricities or at the Red Lion Hotel.
w Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal