Mike Stanley, who’s named his memorable turn live at Chicago’s now gone Lakeshore Theater for what his dad would say if he needed bail (“Tough Luck, Chump!”), is particularly helpful as a giver of solid advice. First, stay outta Indiana: “That’s Mellencamp country, you’ve got no business being there.” Don’t get super drunk and try to give your buddy a haircut. Don’t try to trick sick kids into thinking the Ronald McDonald House is gonna be a good time. You can’t pass off chemo with a jaunty “Here’s your McWig!” And while we’re on parenting, Stanley shares a sure-fire test for whether you’re ready for fatherhood: you have to learn to drink and drive, pay child support, and seriously hike up your shorts. That’s a lot of responsibility. Another tip: don’t freak out if you find a finger in your fast food–you just found a way around flushing public toilets! And for all you single ladies, Stanley’s got at least one big secret (okay, it’s not that
big…) Beyonce won’t tell you.
Self-deprecating and world-weary, an astute assessor of all weather conditions and all conditions of drunkenness, a guy who’s spit up on a baby and celebrated when the market crashed (“Sweet! We’re all even!”), Mike Stanley’s an erudite everyman. Who else could use the word “tally-whacker?” This bald, whimsical huckster’s got all the dark charm of the devil on one shoulder with the winking sweetness of the angel on the other; in an act full of salty language and peppered morals, Mike Stanley’s still astoundingly endearing. Which is to say, we’ll let you decide which way you want to follow.