Pauly Shore at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort on 1/25/21 By Jesse Striewski (Photos By Brooke Striewski)

I don’t claim to be a huge fan of stand-up comedy by any means, and it’s been well over five years since the last time I willingly went to see a comedian live (and even then, I was there once again for work purposes). But how could my wife/photographer and I not go see the ‘Weasel’ himself, Pauly Shore, where it all began for him so long ago (and on our seventh wedding anniversary, in the same city where it all began for us as well, none the less) in the city of Daytona Beach?!

Presented by Bonkerz Comedy Productions and held at the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort (which coincidentally, is where my wife and I actually ate dinner right before getting engaged years ago, making the evening all the more special for us on a personal level), it was an extremely welcomed relief to a long year lacking an aubundance of laughter (even Hawaiian Tropic founder Ron Rice made his way into the audience last night).

Central, FL local Lou Pharis warmed up the crowd with (literal) enormous enthusiasm. Although towering at an intimidation-level height, he came off as a harmless gentle giant, there to simply win the audience over with laughs not too far off from your common dad jokes (but in a good way).

Kirk Bonacci, who has appeared on such Disney Channel shows as Game On! and The Avatars, used more of a self-depreciating style of comedy, with a slower approach, albeit perfectly timed punchlines. His ability to handle – shall we say – not the most welcomed audience participation from one particular crowd member, was also priceless.

And at last, the mighty Pauly Shore whisked onto the stage to the tune of David Lee Roth’s “Just Like Paradise,” encouraging the crowd to rise and proclaiming it was time to “party!” Once he began, it was nearly impossible not to laugh at every ridiculous thought that flowed from his brain to the microphone. Even the most simple, monotonous lines (I was dead after he stated, “I have to go grocery shopping when I get home”) were enough to bring the audience to its knees.

A good portion of his jokes relied on his age, and analyzing how much things have changed with him (and the world) since his early ’90s, MTV-fueled heyday. And while politics did make their way into the jokes from time to time, it was refreshing for once to hear something that wasn’t just one-sided and simply for the sake of bashing. Shore no doubt seems to still come from the old-school mentality where it’s okay to poke fun of everyone and anyone, regardless of what side of the fence they happen to land on (something sadly missing way too often in many platforms these days).

And of course, there were plenty of quotes from the vault brought out; classic lines like “Weazing the juice” from Encino Man and “Steven Tyler PJ’s” from Son-in-Law are among many that could be heard uttered throughout his set last night. Chances are if you grew up during Shore’s prime of the late ’80s/early ’90s (like I did), his stand up routine will be right up your alley as well; catch him if and when you get the chance (Shore’s next show will actually be at the Orlando Improv tonight).