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Punchlines Come Together

Flip Schultz surprises by plucking a bass guitar during a new bit performed at the Wine House Social in Delray Beach on Tuesday.

by Chuck king
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DELRAY BEACH – It’s all about that bass for comic Flip Schultz.

At least recently it is.

Schultz spent the past few weeks developing a new bit where he plays an electric bass guitar, lending rhythm to his jokes.

“I’ve had the idea for a little while,” Schultz said. “I just finally had the balls to try it this week. I’m excited about it.”

Schultz surprised comedy fans Tuesday night at the Wine House Theater by plugging in his bass and dropping in for a 10 minute set.

Riffing the baseline from the Beatles’ “Come Together,” Schultz used the musical instrument to help tie together about seven minutes worth of jokes that, until the addition of the bass, resided on Schultz’s version of the Island of Misfit Jokes.

He effectively created his own joke mashup.

“I think right now I’m about 75 percent, 80 percent figuring it out,” Schultz said. “It becomes a construct where I can just put in jokes that I have that have never fit anywhere. These are kind of like the guinea pig jokes. And once you have it, I can take this one out if I come up with a new one. It just becomes this whole 10 minute chunk.”

Schultz has never performed on stage while playing an instrument. And while several comics are known to tell jokes while strumming guitars or playing the piano, Schultz is unaware of anyone delivering a punchline amid a thumping bassline.

“This is something completely out of my wheelhouse,” Schultz said. “I wouldn’t consider myself a guitar comic either way, but I’ve never brought something else on stage and incorporated it into my act in joke telling. I’m not a great bass player. I’ve figured out a way – I think it works – to bring that in.”

Schultz is now comfortable enough with the “Come Together” baseline that he doesn’t have to concentrate on the motions and placement of his fingers, freeing his brain to concentrate on jokes.

On Tuesday he strayed from that bassline only once as a change of pace for a specific punchline.

He one busted out the rock star moves once. Those antics will likely become more common as Schultz becomes more comfortable with the bit.

“It’s very exciting,” Schultz said. “As a comedian, when you come up with a new joke it’s exciting.”

South Florida comedy fans interested in seeing Schultz pluck away at his craft will have a chance on Sept. 16 at Mathews Brewing Co. in Lake Worth.

Schultz hopes to have refined the bit enough to use it during a run with comic Steve Trevino that begins in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 23 that will also take him to Atlanta and Denver. Schultz is then booked to perform on a cruise ship.

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