STORY BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER/For 21st Century Media
Most people know Kevin James from playing the goofy, big hearted and affable Doug Heffernan character on the long running sitcom The King of Queens, which ended its nine season run in 2007. But what many might not know is that the funny man spent a decade doing stand-up comedy before taking on acting roles.
James started his comedy career on the Long Island stand-up scene and was discovered at the 1996 Montreal Comedy Festival. He brought his stand-up act to television in ‘Sweat the Small Stuff,’ a one-hour special for Comedy Central in 2001. He eventually transitioned to performing at venues in New York City. As he established himself, James became a frequent late-night talk show guest, and was eventually invited to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Wednesday night at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, James returns to those stand-up roots with a show that isn’t far removed from his King of Queens character. Expect a bunch of observational comedy and humor that uses his physical size, something at which his television role routinely poked fun.
James has also made a splash on the big screen beginning in 2005 with Hitch, opposite Will Smith, where he played a luckless-in-love guy who needs Smith’s professional dating counseling. Since then James has been a producer, co-writer, and star of the hit comedies Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Zookeeper, and Here Comes The Boom – about a high school biology teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money for his beleaguered school. He also starred with Adam Sandler in Columbia Pictures’ blockbuster Grown Ups, and its sequel, Grown Ups 2 and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
Even though he’s back on the stand-up circuit, this might be the last time to catch James in that setting for some time; according to his Twitter feed, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 wrapped filming early this summer, and is scheduled to hit theaters in April of next year.
IF YOU GO
What: Kevin James
When: Wednesday, Oct. 22 Doors Open: 6:30 p.m. | Showtime: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sands Event Center, 77 Sands Blvd, Bethlehem, PA
Tickets: $49.50, $59.50 and $85.00
Info.: For tickets, call 610-297-7400 or check www.sandseventcenter.com