Comedian Gabriel Rutledge performs stand up at Penguin’s

Comedian Gabriel Rutledge

Penguin’s Comedy Club — Dec. 19-20 at 7:30 p.m.

Much of Gabriel Rutledge’s stand up revolves around family life, but the comedian’s savage honesty and quick wit keeps his material from veering into any stale “dad humor” territory.

Rutledge, performing at Penguin’s this weekend, doesn’t let his palpable love for his wife and kids hold him back from detailing the myriad of amusing and maddening frustrations they cause him, whether it’s the feeling of being trapped in an edited-for-TV movie when he tries not to swear around his kids or recognizing his marriage’s strongest bond is the fact that he and his wife have grown too out-of-shape to practically pursue other sexual partners.

His willingness to get a little dark, as when he recognizes how the blandness of hanging out with other fathers can reasonably make someone contemplate using heroin, comes off as refreshing rather than off-putting and matches the sensibility you’d expect from a former punkrocker.

Rutledge’s family themes and blunt honesty carry over into his other comedy projects which include a podcast with his wife, The Rutledges, and his recent book Happiness Isn’t Funny, a collection of writing about his life on road and being a father.

Rutledge has been a professional comic for thirteen years and has earned notable recognition for his talent over that time, including being featured on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and winning the Seattle International Comedy Competition. Yet, in keeping with his everyman sensibility, he’s not afraid to detail the humor of his setbacks — like his failed advancement on Last Comic Standing in a recent blog entry.

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