Sara Pokorny

Comedians have tricks and treats in store for Halloween show at Wise Crackers

Comedians have tricks and treats in store for Halloween show at Wise Crackers
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There may be some tricks, and definitely plenty of treats when Shawn Cornelius, Katrina Brown, and Scott Bruce hit the stage at Wise Crackers Comedy Club at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre Halloween night.

The comedians bring with them a breadth of experience and variety of styles. Brown, the youngest of seven children and once dubbed “the weird one” by her father, has played every venue from colleges to comedy clubs, from Ohio to Wisconsin. She’s done spots for Northeast Ohio’s PBS station and performed stand-up for “Laugh Out Loud St. Louis.”

Cornelius has acting experience to lend to his craft; he is a graduate of Shaw University, North Carolina, with a BA in Theater Arts, with a concentration in the arts, and he has also performed in the off-Broadway show “The Jackie Robinson Story.”

Bruce, who will emcee the Halloween show as well as another performance with the same lineup the following night at Mohegan, is a name that may be familiar to locals – if you’ve seen a sign for or a show at Wise Crackers Comedy Club, you most certainly know who he is.

Bruce is the founder of Wise Crackers, which is now in its 14th year. He personally has performed in venues ranging from cruise ships to Vegas nightclubs and local Moose Lodges. He’s a published author and has hosted the Emmy Award-winning PBS television show “The Pennsylvania Game.”

He’s been in the biz quite some time – and yet it never gets old.

NEPA SCENE: When did you start the Wise Crackers clubs, and how has the business (both yours, and comedy as a whole) changed since you began?

SCOTT BRUCE: I started performing stand-up comedy in 1981. Wise Crackers came along as a business with the start of the new century, so the company is in its 14th year. The business has not changed much in all that time in that it is still the same basic concept. If my audiences are laughing, we are successful.

NS: Tell us a bit about your time spent as an author.

SB: There are two editions of my first book, “It Happened in Pennsylvania.” I’m currently working on a comedy book entitled “Funny, Buy the Book,” as well as my first novel.

NS: You’re one busy guy! You’ve hosted a TV show, written books, run your own business, done stand-up and emcee work, but is there anything you haven’t had a chance to do yet that you’d really like to cross off your list?

SB: I’m certainly hoping to make the Pro Golf Tour, but I’m beginning to doubt that it’s going to happen.

NS: What, so far, has been your favorite moment of your comedy career?

SB: It might be hard to believe, but every time I get on stage is still a thrill. Having worked Las Vegas, cruise ships, and all the travel over the years has been great. If I had to pick a moment, I would have to say it was opening for Ray Charles.

NS: It’s Halloween the night of the performance at Mohegan. Are you tailoring your set to the holiday? What can audiences expect from the show?

SB: Shawn Cornelius and Kat Brown are both real pros. It’s going to be a fun show.

NS: What is the worst Halloween costume you’ve ever worn, and what made it so bad?

SB: I think it was the year I dressed as a woman. The problem arose because I looked too good. While standing in line to buy a six-pack of beer, a guy hit on me. I just turned to him and in my deepest voice said, “It’s Halloween, dude.”

Comedians Shawn Cornelius, Katrina Brown, and Scott Bruce
Location: Wise Crackers Comedy Club at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1280 Hwy. 315, Wilkes-Barre)
Date: Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1
Time: Doors at 8 p.m., shows at 9 p.m.
Cost: $20