Today’s Parent: Two Milk Minimum makes a splash

“Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven eight nine!” Does your kid spend more time with his joke books than his math books? Then you may very well have a burgeoning comedian on your hands. If you think your child may be the next Jimmy Fallon or Tina Fey, Flappers Comedy Club in Claremont is just the place to nourish your kid’s comedic spirit and unleash their inner class clown without landing them in the principal’s office.

On Sundays, the club offers “Two Milk Minimum,” a family-friendly comedy show that’s bound to leave both children and adults buckled over with laughter. The one-hour set features a rotation of outlandish comedic magicians, jugglers, musicians, improv artists, puppeteers and novelty acts, including resident emcee and host Michael Rayner.

“Having slapstick involved and improvisational elements to it, this show is much more than stand-up,” he says. “I’ve had kids up to 15 years old who are enjoying it just as much as the 4-year-olds!”

A self-proclaimed post-modern vaudevillian, Mr. Rayner’s show is a combination of tricks, stunts, stand-up, improvisation and zingers that he’s perfected over the past 20 years. He’s performed at The Magic Castle in Hollywood and also appeared on Sesame Street and numerous Nickelodeon shows.

For Mr. Rayner, there’s very little difference between his adult show and the one he puts on for the kids.

“I treat the kids like I treat the adults. I’ll go at them,” he says. “All kids want to be the center of attention and sometimes you’ll get the kid that tries to hijack the show, just like you’ll get hecklers at an adult show.”

The February headliner stood before an audience of 60 kids and their parents and performed a series of stunts and balancing acts that left the audience in stitches (although a few of the antics had the patrons worried the performer would be leaving in stitches). In addition to spinning a McDonalds cheeseburger on a paper umbrella—a trick that garnered him a past appearance on The Late Show with Letterman—Mr. Rayner juggled a bowling ball, hatchet and a rubber Pillsbury Doughboy while cracking jokes, without missing a catch or a beat.

But another of his signature tricks seemed to have old and young on the edge of their seats.

“I’m going to balance this wheelbarrow on my face. But to make it more exciting, I’m going to balance it over that family right there,” he proclaimed, pointing to Thomas Clark, Nicole Stephens and their three children Kathryn, 13, Emma, 6, and 4-year-old Evan, who were sitting in the front row. The family has been coming to Flappers for the past four years and they believe there’s no better way to spend a Sunday evening than laughing with loved ones.

“The show is at a kid level, but adults enjoy it, too,” Mr. Clark said. “It’s great, cost-effective entertainment that we can enjoy together as a family. You really can’t beat it!”

For parents with a child interested in going down the comedy road, exposure to live comedy can be a great experience. In addition to Two Milk Minimum, Flappers Comedy Club also offers improvisation and stand-up comedy classes for kids and teens as well as private coaching. All classes are taught by working industry professionals and are great for building self-esteem and confidence. For more information about upcoming classes, email classes@flapperscomedy.com.

“Having a showbiz career is silly at this age,” says Mr. Rayner. “I’ve seen a lot of parents pushing their kids into it to make a living. As long as the kids are having fun with it I say, ‘Go for it!’”

Two Milk Minimum is presented at Flappers Comedy Club in Claremont every Sunday evening starting at 4:30 p.m. with doors opening one hour prior to show time. Tickets are $10 for anyone 2-years-old and over. There is a two item minimum during the show and free parking is available both on First Street and in the garage just outside the Packing House.

—Angela Bailey

news@claremont-courier.com

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